Improving neuro-oncological patients care: basic and practical concepts for nurse specialist in neuro-rehabilitation
1 NeuroRehabilitation Unit, IRCCS NEUROMED, Mediterranean Neurological Institute, Pozzilli, Isernia, Italy
2 Palliative Home-Care Unit for Brain Tumors Patients, Regina Elena National Cancer Institute, Rome, Italy
3 Neurorehabilitation Unit, “Sapienza” University of Rome - Polo Pontino, Latina, Italy
4 Rehabilitation Centre, Policlinico Italia, Rome, Italy
5 Neurorehabilitation Unit, IRCCS National Neurological Institute C. Mondino Foundation, Pavia, Italy
6 Department of Neurological Sciences, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
7 Department of Medico-Surgical Sciences and Biotechnologies, “Sapienza” University of Rome, Rome, Italy
Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2012, 31:82 doi:10.1186/1756-9966-31-82Published: 2 October 2012
Neuro-oncological population well expresses the complexity of neurological disability due to the multiple neurological deficits that affect these patients. Moreover, due to the therapeutical opportunities survival times for patients with brain tumor have increased and more of these patients require rehabilitation care. The figure of nurse in the interdisciplinary specialty of neurorehabilitation is not clearly defined, even if their role in this setting is recognized as being critical and is expanding.
The purpose of the study is to identify the standard competencies for neurorehabilitation nurses that could be taught by means of a specialization course.
A literature review was conducted with preference given to works published between January 2000 and December 2008 in English. The search strategy identified 523 non-duplicated references of which 271 titles were considered relevant. After reviewing the abstracts, 147 papers were selected and made available to a group of healthcare professionals who were requested to classify them in few conceptual main areas defining the relative topics.
The following five main areas were identified: clinical aspects of nursing; nursing techniques; nursing methodology; relational and organisational models; legal aspects of nursing. The relative topics were included within each area. As educational method a structured course based on lectures and practical sessions was designed. Also multi-choices questions were developed in order to evaluate the participants’ level of knowledge, while a semi-structured interview was prepared to investigate students’ satisfaction.
Literature shows that the development of rehabilitation depends on the improvement of scientific and practical knowledge of health care professionals. This structured training course could be incorporated into undergraduate nursing education programmes and also be inserted into continuing education programmes for graduate nurses. Developing expertise in neuro-rehabilitation for nurses, will be critical to improve overall care and care management of patients with highly complex disabilities as patients affected by brain tumors. The next step will be to start discussing, at the level of scientific societies linked to the field of neurorehabilitation and oncology, the development of a specialisation course in neurorehabilitation nursing.