Cancer patients’ perceptions of the good nurse: a literature review

Cancer patients’ perceptions of the good nurse: a literature review, Nursing Ethics, 2009 Sep; 16(5): 528-42

Rchaidia L


This article discusses findings from a mixed method literature review that investigated cancer patients’ perceptions of what constitutes a good nurse. To find pertinent articles, we conducted a systematic key word search of five journal databases (1998-2008). The application of carefully constructed inclusion criteria and critical appraisal identified 12 relevant articles. According to the patients, good nurses were shown to be characterized by specific, but inter-related, attitudes, skills and knowledge; they engage in person-to-person relationships, respect the uniqueness of patients, and provide support. Professional and trained skills as well as broad and specific nursing and non-nursing knowledge are important. The analysis revealed that these characteristics nurtured patient well-being, which manifests as optimism, trust, hope, support, confirmation, safety and comfort. Cancer patients’ perceptions of what constitutes a good nurse represent an important source of knowledge that will enable the development of more comprehensive and practice-based views on good nursing care for such patients. These perceptions help us to understand how nurses effectively make a difference in cancer patient care.

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Online support for smoking cessation: a systematic review of the literature

Online support for smoking cessation: a systematic review of the literature, Addiction, 2009, Volume 104 Issue 11, Pages 1792 – 1804

Lion Shahab, Andy McEwen


Aim  To examine the efficacy and acceptability of online, interactive interventions for smoking cessation and to identify treatment effect moderators and mediators.

Methods  A systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature (1990–2008) was conducted, finding 11 relevant randomized controlled trials. Data were extracted and risk ratios and risk differences estimated with a random effects model.

Results  There was no evidence of publication bias. Included trials were of variable methodological quality. Web-based, tailored, interactive smoking cessation interventions were effective compared with untailored booklet or e-mail interventions [rate ratio (RR) 1.8; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.4–2.3] increasing 6-month abstinence by 17% (95% CI 12–21%). No overall effect of interactive compared with static web-based interventions was detected but there was significant heterogeneity, with one study obtaining a clear effect and another failing to find one. Few moderating or mediating factors were evaluated in studies and those that were had little effect. Pooled results suggest that only interventions aimed at smokers motivated to quit were effective (RR 1.3, 95% CI 1.0–1.7). Fully automated interventions increased smoking cessation rates (RR 1.4, 95% CI 1.0–2.0), but evidence was less clear-cut for non-automated interventions. Overall, the web-based interventions evaluated were considered to be acceptable and user satisfaction was generally high.

Conclusion  Interactive, web-based interventions for smoking cessation can be effective in aiding cessation. More research is needed to evaluate the relative efficacy of interactive web-based interventions compared with static websites.

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RCT of CBT for coexisting depression and alcohol problems: short-term outcome

Randomized controlled trial of cognitive–behavioural therapy for coexisting depression and alcohol problems: short-term outcome, Addiction, 2009

Amanda L. Baker, David J. Kavanagh et al..


Aims  Alcohol use disorders and depression co-occur frequently and are associated with poorer outcomes than when either condition occurs alone. The present study (Depression and Alcohol Integrated and Single-focused Interventions; DAISI) aimed to compare the effectiveness of brief intervention, single-focused and integrated psychological interventions for treatment of coexisting depression and alcohol use problems.

Methods  Participants (n = 284) with current depressive symptoms and hazardous alcohol use were assessed and randomly allocated to one of four individually delivered interventions: (i) a brief intervention only (single 90-minute session) with an integrated focus on depression and alcohol, or followed by a further nine 1-hour sessions with (ii) an alcohol focus; (iii) a depression focus; or (iv) an integrated focus. Follow-up assessments occurred 18 weeks after baseline.

Results  Compared with the brief intervention, 10 sessions were associated with greater reductions in average drinks per week, average drinking days per week and maximum consumption on 1 day. No difference in duration of treatment was found for depression outcomes. Compared with single-focused interventions, integrated treatment was associated with a greater reduction in drinking days and level of depression. For men, the alcohol-focused rather than depression-focused intervention was associated with a greater reduction in average drinks per day and drinks per week and an increased level of general functioning. Women showed greater improvements on each of these variables when they received depression-focused rather than alcohol-focused treatment.

Conclusions  Integrated treatment may be superior to single-focused treatment for coexisting depression and alcohol problems, at least in the short term. Gender differences between single-focused depression and alcohol treatments warrant further study.

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Improving the health and wellbeing of people with learning disabilities

Improving the health and wellbeing of people with learning disabilities  Department of Health, November 2009

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Recent inquiries have demonstrated the health inequalities faced by people with learning disabilities; and the reasonable adjustments needed to overcome them. This is a practical guide to support commissioners to meet the needs of this group, and ensure they are fulfilling their duty to promote equality.

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Literature Searching – Strategies for Mental Health Nurses

Conducting Efficient Literature Searches: Strategies for Mental Health Nurses,  Michelle Cleary, Glenn E Hunt, Jan Horsfall. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing & Mental Health Services, Nov 2009. Vol. 47, Iss. 11; p. 34 – 42



Access to the most recent evidence is essential for informing best practice clinical decision making, undertaking research, and writing articles for publication. We often hear clinicians remark that nothing has been published on a particular topic and that they know this because they did a database search. However, we do not know if the person completed a thorough search to back up this statement. A clear method is needed to undertake a comprehensive review, and choosing the right key words, search strategies, and databases are essential starting points. Regardless of whether a search is basic or advanced, stages of the search procedures, such as determining key terms, databases used and the date range used within each, fields selected, dates of access, history of search sets, and the justification for excluding data, should be documented to provide an audit trail.

The purpose of this article is to discuss the steps involved in the execution of a thorough literature search for busy mental health nurses (either baccalaureate or advanced practice) in clinical practice. Although a great deal of information is available on websites about search techniques, often this information is ignored by nurses, poorly explained, or only pertinent for a single website. Many researchers are unfamiliar with the strengths and weaknesses of particular databases and search features for systematic reviewing of the literature. In this article, we outline some tips on conducting basic and advanced searches of the literature in several databases and use an example of searching for information regarding patients with dual diagnosis, a common clinical issue for nurses.

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Reach Out – National Action Strategy on Suicide Prevention 2005-2014

Reach Out – National Action Strategy on Suicide Prevention 2005-2014   2009

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Suicidal behaviour represents a global public health problem and its prevention continues to provide a major challenge to health and social services at all levels of Irish society. More people die by suicide in Ireland each year than in road traffic accidents. Currently, youth suicide rates in Ireland are fifth highest in the European Union (World Health Organisation, 2005). Older people, especially older men, may also be vulnerable and suicide is affecting increasing numbers of Irish people across the lifespan.

Deliberate self-harm is also a significant problem. According to the National Parasuicide Registry,over 11,000 cases of deliberate self-harm are seen in the accident and emergency departments of our hospitals annually and many more cases of deliberate self-harm never come to the attention of the health services.

The causes of suicide are complex and are likely to involve an inter-play of psychological, biological, social and environmental factors in the context of a person’s negative experiences over a lifetime, sometimes aggravated by a recent personal difficulty. Premature death from suicide has many adverse consequences, not only for the family and friends of those who die but for all of those in the wider community who have to cope with the impact of the tragedy.

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CBT for Suicide Prevention

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Suicide Prevention (CBT-SP): Treatment Model, Feasibility, and Acceptability, Journal of the  American Academy of  Child Adolescent Psychiatry, 2009

Stanley B, et al..


OBJECTIVE –  To describe the elements of a manual-based cognitive-behavioral therapy for suicide prevention (CBT-SP) and to report its feasibility in preventing the recurrence of suicidal behavior in adolescents who have recently attempted suicide. METHOD:: The CBT-SP was developed using a risk reduction and relapse prevention approach and theoretically grounded in principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and targeted therapies for suicidal youths with depression. The CBT-SP consists of acute and continuation phases, each lasting about 12 sessions, and includes a chain analysis of the suicidal event, safety plan development, skill building, psychoeducation, family intervention, and relapse prevention. RESULTS:: The CBT-SP was administered to 110 recent suicide attempters with depression aged 13 to 19 years (mean 15.8 years, SD 1.6) across five academic sites. Twelve or more sessions were completed by 72.4% of the sample. CONCLUSIONS:: A specific intervention for adolescents at high risk for repeated suicide attempts has been developed and manual based, and further testing of its efficacy seems feasible.

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