Betty R. Ferrell, PhD, RN | Authors

‘Futile Care’: An Oncology Nurse’s Perspective

July 01, 2008

The article by Khatcheressian and colleagues addresses the important topic of futility in chemotherapy use. While extensive previous literature has addressed the use of futile treatment by oncologists, Khatcheressian and coauthors pose interesting perspectives on patient persistence in seeking futile treatment.

National Guidelines for Palliative Care: A Roadmap for Oncology Nurses

February 01, 2008

Patients with cancer have significant needs for palliative care, including pain and symptom management and psychosocial and spiritual support. The experience of cancer has an impact on family caregivers as well, and palliative care needs exist from diagnosis through survivorship and end-of-life care. Oncology nurses have opportunities to integrate palliative care into disease-focused care.

Assessing Cancer Pain in the Adult Patient

September 01, 2006

The high prevalence of pain in the cancer population underscores why pain management is integral to comprehensive cancer care. How well pain is controlled can have a profound effect on the cancer experience for both patient and family. The goals of pain assessment are to prevent pain if possible, and to identify pain immediately should it occur. This can be facilitated by standardized screening of all cancer patients for pain, on a routine basis, across care settings. A comprehensive assessment of pain follows if a patient reports pain that is not being adequately managed. Oncology nurses play a huge role in pain assessment and management throughout the course of a patient's disease. A basic understanding of the types of pain seen in the cancer population as well as inferred neurophysiologic pain mechanisms and temporal patterns of pain can help focus the pain assessment. This in turn will lead to targeted pain management strategies

Patient and Family Caregiver Perspectives

May 01, 1999

The introduction of any new analgesic agent or delivery system is often focused on efficacy of the agent or on considerations of use by health care professionals. Introduction of novel pain technologies should also consider the

Quality of Life Among Long-Term Cancer Survivors

April 01, 1997

Thanks to advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment, there are now more than 10 million cancer survivors in the United States. Successful treatment of cancer has resulted in increased demands on survivors and has had diverse effects on the quality of life (QOL) of patients and their families. A model of QOL encompassing dimensions of physical, psychological, social, and spiritual well-being has been applied to illustrate the multidimensional needs of cancer survivors and the necessity of comprehensive care extending over the long term. Data from a recent survey of members of the National Coalition of Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) is presented, along with a summary of issues compiled by the NCCS that merit future attention. [ONCOLOGY 11(4):565-571, 1997]