Nurse led telephone follow up in ovarian cancer: a psychosocial perspective

Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2008 Dec;12(5):412-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ejon.2008.06.002. Epub 2008 Oct 8.


Survivorship is a relatively new concept in ovarian cancer due to improvements in diagnosis, surgery and chemotherapy. As more women require long term follow up for ovarian cancer the pressure on these services is increased and the question of how best to care for these women needs to be addressed. This paper considers the results of a pilot study of nurse led telephone follow up in ovarian cancer from a psychosocial perspective. Fifty-two women received telephone follow up over a 10-month period; one aspect of this intervention was the opportunity for women to discuss psychosocial concerns with the clinical nurse specialist. A nurse database held records of patient discussions, and patient feedback regarding the service was collected using FACT Ovarian quality of life questionnaire, plus the satisfaction and experience with follow up questionnaire. Thirty-three women were recorded as discussing psychological concerns with the nurse, 42% discussed feelings of anxiety or depression and 33% discussed fear of disease recurrence. Thirty-nine women were recorded as having discussed social concerns with the nurse, 56% discussed their family (husband, children, etc.), 51% discussed work and/or finances, and 41% discussed sexual intimacy. The majority of women (73%) expressed a preference for nurse led telephone follow up, the main advantages were reported as the relationship and discussions between the patient and the nurse, and the convenience of having follow up appointments over the phone instead of attending clinic. This pilot study suggests that nurse led telephone follow up offers an acceptable opportunity for psychosocial support for women with ovarian cancer.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aftercare* / organization & administration
  • Aftercare* / psychology
  • Anxiety / prevention & control
  • Depression / prevention & control
  • England
  • Fear
  • Female
  • Holistic Health
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Nurse Clinicians / organization & administration*
  • Nurse Clinicians / psychology
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Oncology Nursing / organization & administration*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / nursing
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / psychology
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Program Evaluation
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Referral and Consultation / organization & administration
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Telephone*