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In cancer care, the burden of psycho-emotional elements involved on the patient–healthcare provider relationship cannot be ignored. The aim of this work is to have an impact on the level of burnout experienced by European Institute of Oncology (IEO) gynecologic oncology nurses (N = 14) and on quality of multidisciplinary team work.
We designed a 12 session multimodal training program consisting of a 1.5 hour theoretical lesson on a specific issue related to gynecologic cancer patient care, 20 minute projection of a short film, and 1.75 hours of role-playing exercises and experiential exchanges. The Link Burnout Questionnaire (Santinello, 2007) was administered before and after the completion of the intervention. We also monitored the number of patients referred to the Psycho-oncology Service as an indicator of the efficacy of the multidisciplinary approach.
After the completion of the program, the general level of burnout significantly diminished (p = 0.02); in particular, a significant decrease was observed in the “personal inefficacy” subscale (p = 0.01). The number of patients referred to the Psycho-oncology Service increased by 50%.
Significance of results:
Nurses are in the first line of those seeing patients through the entire course of the disease. For this reason, they are at a particularly high risk of developing work-related distress. Structured training programs can be a valid answer to work-related distress, and feeling part of a multidisciplinary team helps in providing patients with better psychosocial care.
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