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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 129-135

A survey of Australian cancer nurses: The prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases (CanPaC study)

Department of Medical Oncology, Calvary Mater Newcastle, Waratah, NSW, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Catherine Johnson
Department of Medical Oncology, Calvary Mater Newcastle, Waratah, NSW
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Source of Support: The authors acknowledge and thank the survey participants, The Cancer Nurses Society of Australia for distribution of the survey to their membership and the Hunter Cancer Research Alliance for general administrative support., Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2347-5625.161318

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Objective: There is global imperative to reduce the burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCD's). NCD's are the leading cause of death and disability globally. In Australia, 2010, the World Health Organization estimated cancer deaths attributable to NCD's accounted for approximately 29% of all deaths and most are preventable by modifying lifestyle associated risk factors. The International Council of Nurses (2010) identified nurses are ideally placed to contribute to prevention and control of NCD's through evidence based strategies (EBS). The aim of this study was to explore the Australian cancer nurses role, knowledge, and skills to prevent and control NCD's. Methods: We used nonprobability snowball sampling to collect data from an online survey distributed to 899 members of the Cancer Nurses Society of Australia. Results: Two hundred and fifty-seven nurses responded; >90% found it is within the scope of their role to contribute to prevention and control of NCDs, >70% assess for modifiable risk factors, >85% refer to support services, and 70% were interested in spending more time addressing prevention. Over 60% indicated they had adequate resources, appropriate personal skills, and adequate knowledge; however 73% felt they had inadequate time to incorporate strategies within their existing workload, 56% believed their physical environment was inadequate, and 48% felt a lack of culturally appropriate resources were identified as barrier to contributing to the prevention and control of NCDs. Conclusions: Australian cancer nurses want to contribute to the prevention and control of NCD's although workload, physical environment, and culturally inadequate resources hinder the implementation of EBS to combat NCD's.

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