Assarroudi A, Heshmati Nabavi F, Armat MR, Ebadi A, Vaismoradi M. Directed qualitative content analysis: the description and elaboration of its underpinning methods and data analysis process. J Res Nurs. 2018; 23:(1)42-55

Burks AC, Keim-Malpass J. Health literacy and informed consent for clinical trials: a systematic review and implications for nurses. Nursing: Research and Reviews. 2019; 9:31-40

De Vincentiis L, Carr RA, Mariani MP, Ferrara G. Cancer diagnostic rates during the 2020 ‘lockdown’, due to COVID-19 pandemic, compared with the 2018–2019: an audit study from cellular pathology. J Clin Pathol. 2021; 74:(3)187-189

Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres Network. The role of the ECMC network. 2022. (accessed 15 September 2022)

Halpern J, Paolo D, Huang A. Informed consent for early-phase clinical trials: therapeutic misestimation, unrealistic optimism and appreciation. J Med Ethics. 2019; 45:(6)384-387

Jivraj N, Gallagher LO, Papadakos J, Abdelmutti N, Trang A, Ferguson SE. Empowering patients and caregivers with knowledge: The development of a nurse-led gynecologic oncology chemotherapy education class. Can Oncol Nurs J. 2018; 28:(1)4-7

Lheureux S, Braunstein M, Oza AM. Epithelial ovarian cancer: evolution of management in the era of precision medicine. CA Cancer J Clin. 2019; 69:(4)280-304

Li Q, Lin Y, Xu Y, Zhou H. The impact of depression and anxiety on quality of life in Chinese cancer patient-family caregiver dyads, a cross-sectional study. Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2018; 16:(1)

Ludmir EB, Mainwaring W, Lin TA Factors associated with age disparities among cancer clinical trial participants. JAMA Oncology. 2019; 5:(12)1769-1773

Maringe C, Spicer J, Morris M The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer deaths due to delays in diagnosis in England, UK: a national, population-based, modelling study. Lancet Oncol. 2020; 21:(8)1023-1034

McCabe M, Behrens L, Browning S, Vessey J, Williams MJ. CE: Original Research: The clinical research nurse: exploring self-perceptions about the value of the role. Am J Nurs. 2019; 119:(8)24-32

Ness E. The oncology clinical research nurse study co-ordinator: past, present, and future. Asia Pac J Oncol Nurs. 2020; 7:(3)237-242

Olsen L, DePalma L, Evans JH. Self-interested and altruistic motivations in volunteering for clinical trials: a more complex relationship. J Empir Res Hum Res Ethics. 2020; 15:(5)443-451

Pitman A, Suleman S, Hyde N, Hodgkiss A. Depression and anxiety in patients with cancer. BMJ. 2018; 361

Ramirez R, Chiu Y-C, Zhang S Prediction and interpretation of cancer survival using graph convolution neural networks. Methods. 2021; 192:120-130

Taylor H. Informed consent 1: legal basis and implications for practice. Nursing Times. 2018; 114

Tolaney SM, Lydon CA, Li T The impact of COVID-19 on clinical trial execution at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2021; 113:(11)1453-1459

Turnham HL, Dunn M, Hill E, Thornburn GT, Wilkinson D. Consent in the time of COVID-19. J Med Ethics. 2020; 46:(9)565-568

Unger JM, Hershman DL, Fleury ME, Vaidya R. Association of patient comorbid conditions with cancer clinical trial participation. JAMA Oncol. 2019; 5:(3)326-333

Vickers E. A Beginner's guide to targeted cancer treatments.Oxford: Wiley Blackwell; 2018

Zhou Q, Ratcliffe SJ, Grady C, Wang T, Mao JJ, Ulrich CM. Cancer clinical trial patient-participants' perceptions about provider communication and dropout Intentions. AJOB Empir Bioeth. 2019; 10:(3)190-200

Exploring nurses' experiences of caring for patients participating in cancer clinical trials

22 September 2022
Volume 31 · Issue 17



Drawing on the experiences of cancer research nurses (CRNs) from the Cancer Research UK Excellence in Research Programme, this article aims to provide an insight into managing cancer patients' expectations of participating in clinical trials. It also outlines what CRNs consider are the key elements when supporting patients through side-effect management.


Through group work and discussions, CRNs' reflective experiences were captured by workshop facilitators around three topics by exploring nurses' experiences of caring for patients participating in cancer clinical trials. Reflective CRN experiences for each of the three topics were reviewed and themes were developed by the author, who also facilitated this workshop.


Developing relationships, patient education and effective communication were all identified as important factors when helping to manage patient expectations and aid side-effect management.


The findings, based on CRN experiences, give an understanding of aspects of the role that nurses have within cancer clinical trials, what patient expectations of clinical trial are and strategies on how best to support patients within this area of nursing.

Advances in early diagnosis methodology and novel anticancer treatments have seen survival rates improve for most cancer types (Ramirez et al, 2021). It is estimated that about 2.5 million people are living with and beyond a cancer diagnosis in the UK, a figure that is likely to increase to 4 million by 2030 (De Vincentiis et al, 2021). Incidences of patients presenting with advanced disease in some cancers remains high; this has been attributed to late diagnosis and lack of efficacy of current anticancer treatment options (Lheureux et al, 2019). It is projected that the COVID-19 pandemic will significantly increase cases of patients presenting with advanced cancers in the UK as a result of delays in diagnostic tests, and bring challenges due to the consequent backlog within routine diagnostic services (Maringe et al, 2020).

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting British Journal of Nursing and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for nurses. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to clinical or professional articles

  • Unlimited access to the latest news, blogs and video content