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Being Prepared: Essential to Self-Care and Quality of Life for the Person With Cancer

M. Tish Knobf
CJON 2013, 17(3), 255-261 DOI: 10.1188/13.CJON.255-261

Being adequately prepared for an experience such as cancer empowers patients, lowers distress, improves coping, supports self-management, promotes recovery, and improves quality of life. However, patients with cancer report unmet informational and support needs across the cancer trajectory. The purpose of this article is to describe the relationship of information preparation and patient outcomes, identify information and support needs across the cancer trajectory, and describe the role of oncology nurses in the delivery of high-quality patient-centered cancer care. The middle range theory of "Carrying On" was used to identify information and support needs during different phases of the cancer trajectory from treatment to survivorship. The authors concluded that nurses should engage the patient in a relational exchange of information; provide concrete, understandable information across specific times in the cancer experience; and use creative approaches to minimize barriers in meeting patient needs to achieve high-quality patient-centered cancer care.

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