Purpose/Objectives: To examine outpatient oncology satisfaction/dissatisfaction with venous access devices (VADs), identify positive and negative experiences, and determine their overall effect on quality of life.
Setting: Outpatient oncology clinic in the United States.
Sample: Convenience sample of 24 patients who had a VAD and were receiving outpatient chemotherapy treatments.
Methods: Consecutive patients meeting study criteria were invited to complete a two-page questionnaire during their clinic visit.
Main Research Variables: VAD, satisfaction, dissatisfaction, quality of life.
Findings: Patients were extremely happy with VADs. The top three benefits were (a) decreased pain compared to venipuncture, (b) the need for fewer needlesticks, and (c) quicker blood draws for laboratory analysis. Negative experiences were infrequent, but 29% of subjects cited monthly heparinization, sleep disturbances, and site soreness following chemotherapy treatments. Overall, 92% stated that the VAD had improved their quality of life.
Conclusions: Chemotherapy outpatients were extremely happy with their VAD, found many benefits, and stated that it improved their quality of life.
Implications for Nursing Practice: Nurses need to support the use of VADs early with patients receiving multiple chemotherapy treatments on an outpatient basis. Research and education need to continue regarding heparinization and discuss interventions to reduce site soreness and sleep disturbances.