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Wakefield, United Kingdom

Clark J.E.,St Jamess Hospital | Aitken S.,Airedale Hospital | Watson N.,Mid Yorkshire NHS Hospitals Trust | McVey J.,Cancer Care Center | And 4 more authors.
Palliative and Supportive Care | Year: 2013

Objective: National guidelines in the United Kingdom recommend training Clinical Nurse Specialists in psychological skills to improve the assessment and intervention with psychological problems experienced by people with a cancer diagnosis (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, 2004). This pilot study evaluated a three-day training program combined with supervision sessions from Clinical Psychologists that focused on developing skills in psychological assessment and intervention for common problems experienced by people with cancer. Methods: Questionnaires were developed to measure participants' levels of confidence in 15 competencies of psychological skills. Participants completed these prior to the program and on completion of the program. Summative evaluation was undertaken and results were compared. In addition, a focus group interview provided qualitative data of participants' experiences of the structure, process, and outcomes of the program. Results: Following the program, participants rated their confidence in psychological assessment and skills associated with providing psychological support as having increased in all areas. This included improved knowledge of psychological theories, skills in assessment and intervention and accessing and using supervision appropriately. The largest increase was in providing psycho-education to support the coping strategies of patients and carers. Thematic analysis of interview data identified two main themes including learning experiences and program enhancements. The significance of the clinical supervision sessions as key learning opportunities, achieved through the development of a community of practice, emerged. Significance of results: Although this pilot study has limitations, the results suggest that a combined teaching and supervision program is effective in improving Clinical Nurse Specialists' confidence level in specific psychological skills. Participants' experiences highlighted suggestions for refinement and development of the program. Opportunities for further research and developments in this area are discussed. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013. Source

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