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Lung cancer treatment rates and the role of the lung cancer nurse specialist: a qualitative study
  1. Angela Mary Tod1,
  2. Judy Redman2,
  3. Ann McDonnell2,
  4. Diana Borthwick3,
  5. John White4
  1. 1School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
  2. 2Centre for Health and Social Care Research, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, England
  3. 3Edinburgh Cancer Centre, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, Scotland
  4. 4St James`s Institute of Oncology, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds, England
  1. Correspondence to Professor Angela Mary; a.tod{at}


Objectives This qualitative study examines how the Lung Cancer Nurse Specialist (LCNS) role operates and why they may be able to increase access to treatment.

Setting 4 Hospital NHS Foundation Trusts in England.

Design A multiple case study design using semistructured interviews, observation and Framework Analysis techniques.

Participants Four LCNSs, comprised the ‘cases’. Twenty four clinicians who worked with the LCNS participated in individual interviews. Six LCNSs took part in a group interview and 60 lung cancer multidisciplinary team (MDT) members and co-ordinators were observed in the MDT meeting.

Results The LCNS is crucial within the MDT and can act as a catalyst to patient access to treatment. The study identified the clinical activity (assessment, managing symptoms, psychological support and information provision) and role characteristics that can facilitate treatment access. These characteristics are the LCNS's presence across the patient pathway, acting as the ‘hub’ of the MDT, maintaining a holistic patient focus and working to an advanced level of practice. The findings indicate how factors may have a cumulative impact on treatment access.

Conclusions If UK patient with lung cancer survival rates are to improve in line with comparable countries, we need to employ every advantage. This study demonstrates how the LCNS role may open doors to positive patient outcomes, including treatment. Further research is required to explore patients’ experiences, decision-making and attitudes to treatment.


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