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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 264-270

Study of collaboration methods between nurses and medical social workers during facility transfer of end-of-life cancer patients

College of Nursing, Kanto Gakuin University, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan

Correspondence Address:
Miyuki Hoshina
College of Nursing, Kanto Gakuin University, Yokohama, Kanagawa
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2347-5625.162824

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Objective: The purpose of this study is to clarify how nurses and medical social workers (hereafter, MSW) collaborate in providing nursing and support to cancer patients who will transition to end-of-life care. Methods: Informants were comprised of 18 nurses and 8 MSW working at a large hospital practicing state-of-the-art cancer treatment. Interviews were conducted by forming focus groups comprised of a mix of nurses and social workers. The focus group interview survey involved the author transcribing audio recordings of these interview sessions, extracting sections relevant to the study purpose, and performing qualitative analysis. Codes relevant to the study purpose were extracted and compiled into cards. These cards were then grouped according to similarity of contents. Sentences expressing the contents of each group were composed, and small tags were appended to meaningful codes. These groups were further grouped together if similar groups were found. Large tags were appended to meaningful codes. Results: Seventeen small tags and six large tags were appended. Based on the remarks of informants in the focus group interview facilitated by the author, storylines were drawn up by arranging the small tags and large tags. The storylines were then compiled into a results diagram. Even if the patient and the family were in agreement as to his care after hospital discharge, the patient himself agreed to the transfer, and good relations had been established between the nurse and patient and the MSW and patient, as collaboration between the nurses and MSW had been insufficient, there were cases in which the hospital transfer did not proceed smoothly. Conclusions: This study reflects how a transfer will not proceed smoothly simply by establishing trusting relations between the patient and nurses, and this study demonstrated that the collaboration between nurses and MSW is indispensable when it concerns transferring the patient to end-of-life care at another facility.

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