Why a carefully designed, nurse-led intervention failed to meet expectations: The case of the Care Programme for Palliative Radiotherapy

C.V. Vahedi Nikbakht-van de Sande, C. Braat, A.P. Vissers, D. Delnoij, A.L. Staa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose of the research
Implement and evaluate the Care Programme for Palliative Radiotherapy (CPPR) in the Outpatient Clinic of the Department of Radiotherapy, Erasmus MC-Cancer Institute, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Participatory Action Research (PAR). Qualitative descriptive design: participatory observations, semi-structured interviews with patients and professionals and focus groups with professionals; content analysis of documents.
Patients with impending paraplegia due to metastatic spinal cord compression, nurse practitioners (NPs), nurse manager, staff and ward nurses, radiographers, radiotherapists and medical doctors.
Key results
After a shift from inpatient to outpatient radiotherapy treatment, patients and healthcare professionals perceived shortcomings in the oncological chain care. The CPPR was developed in a participative way giving a key role to the NP. Evaluation after implementation of the programme showed that patients and professionals were predominantly positive about its effects. However, implementation was not sustained due to lack of institutional and managerial support.
The technological innovation far preceded the organisational changes needed to provide innovative, patient-centred care. Implementing this programme with a central role for the NP was seen as the solution to the problems identified. However, in spite of the systematic approach using PAR, the programme was not successful in bringing about sustained improvements. NPs fulfil a valuable role in the care and support of patients with palliative care needs but need institutional support. More attention should have paid to the organisational context. Involve all relevant actors; use a participatory approach to enhance commitment; ensure the support of management during the whole project.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-158
JournalEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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