Patient satisfaction of specialist nurse-led renal cancer follow-up
For many patients with locally advanced renal cancer, management is surgery followed by surveillance imaging for several years. There is no concrete data regarding specialist nurse follow-up for patients after they have had surgery.
The authors' aim was to assess patient satisfaction with specialist nurse follow-up for patients with renal cancer who have undergone surgery.
A questionnaire was used to measure patient satisfaction of the specialist nurse consultation. There were 100 patients invited who had been followed up in the nurse-led clinic between January 2020 and May 2021. These patients were given a phone call to complete the questionnaire.
The audit revealed that in terms of general satisfaction, 97.1% of patients felt totally satisfied with their visit/consultation at the specialist nurse clinic. Furthermore, 94.2% of patients felt that they had good continuity of care with specialist nurse follow-up.
Nurse-led follow-up was found to have high levels of patient satisfaction.
Renal cancer is the seventh most prevalent cancer in the UK (Cancer Research UK, 2023). It is estimated that 13 300 patients are diagnosed annually with renal cell carcinoma, which make up the majority of cases of kidney cancer (Cancer Research UK, 2023). For the cases of patients with organ-confined and locally advanced disease who meet oncological and functional criteria, current guidelines suggest curative surgical excision (European Association of Urology, 2023). Consequently, many patients undergo either a partial or radical nephrectomy.
Post-operatively patients are stratified by level of risk and, although there is no consensus on follow-up regimens, guidelines suggest surveillance for 5 years for disease recurrence and monitoring for cardiovascular and renal deterioration post-operatively (European Association of Urology, 2023).
Within the NHS, experienced specialist nurse roles have been well established within specific areas of clinical practice and the literature has a wealth of evidence supporting the use of specialist nurse-led follow-up within a range of settings, specifically in cancer (Mole et al, 2019; Moloney et al, 2019; Sharma et al, 2020; Fishburn and Fishburn, 2021). Within urology, specialist nurse-led follow-up has been well established for prostate cancer with several studies showing high levels of patient satisfaction (Shaida et al, 2007; Casey et al, 2017). In comparison, little evidence has been published to support the use of similar models of follow-up with renal cancer patients. The authors were able to find only one single-centre study of 89 patients demonstrating that nurse-led renal cancer follow-up was both a safe practice and satisfactory from the patient perspective (Sibbons et al, 2019).
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