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Perceived Benefits and Challenges of an Oncology Nurse Support Group

Elaine Wittenberg-Lyles
Joy Goldsmith
Jenna Reno
CJON 2014, 18(4), E71-E76 DOI: 10.1188/14.CJON.E71-E76

This study explores the perceived benefits and barriers of participating in a monthly oncology nurse support group. Ten oncology nurses participated in an average of seven support group meetings over a one-year period. Interviews were conducted, transcribed, analyzed, and thematized using qualitative descriptive methods. Clear benefits for oncology nurses are indicated; participants described a reduction in end-of-life care stress, an increase in self-care, and improved patient and team care. Barriers include scheduling and compensation, as well as group leadership labors. This study provides further confirmation that oncology nurses receive multiple benefits from the support group structure. Peer support groups for oncology nurses seem a promising and economical communication intervention for mitigating burnout, professional dissatisfaction, patient care distress, and interprofessional communication deficits.

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