Clinical nurse specialists and survival in patients with cancer: the UK National Cancer Experience Survey

Saleh Alessy*, Elizabeth Davies, Janette Rawlinson, Matthew Baker, Margreet Lüchtenborg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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Objective: To examine whether having a better care experience with a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) is associated with better overall survival of patients with cancer in England. Methods: We identified 99 371 patients with colorectal, lung, breast and prostate cancer who reported their care experience with CNS from the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey (2010-2014) and English cancer registration linked dataset. We categorised patients' experiences into three groups (excellent, non-excellent and no CNS name was given), across three aspects of CNS care: the ease of contacting their CNS, feeling that a CNS had listened to them and the degree to which explanations given by a CNS were understandable. We used univariable and multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression analyses to estimate HRs with 95% CIs by patient experience for each cancer adjusting for patients' sociodemographic and disease stage at diagnosis. Results: Among the three compared groups, patients who reported not being given a CNS name had the lowest survival. In the adjusted Cox regression analysis, the results show that among those who reported not being given a CNS name, the highest risk of death was in those with colorectal, breast and prostate cancers only (colorectal HR: 1.40; 95% CI: 1.32 to 1.84; breast HR: 1.34; 95% CI: 1.25 to 1.44; prostate HR: 1.09; 95% CI: 0.99 to 1.13). However, this association seemed reversed among patients with lung cancer, although attenuated when accounting for potential confounders. Conclusion: These findings provide new evidence of the vital contribution CNS may make to cancer survival and suggest CNS input and support should be available to all patients after the diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberbmjspcare-2021-003445
JournalBMJ Supportive & Palliative Care
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2022


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