Lifestyle Counseling Practices of Oncology Nurses in the United States and Canada

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Abstract

Background:

Oncology nurses are well poised to provide lifestyle behavior counseling to cancer survivors. However, very little is known about the current lifestyle behavior counseling practices of oncology nurses.

Objectives:

The primary purpose of this study was to examine lifestyle behavior counseling practices of oncology nurses. The secondary purpose was to examine differences in lifestyle behavior counseling based on nurses' health behaviors, additional training received, and country of residence.

Methods:

Oncology nurses (N = 314) were primarily recruited through emails from oncology nursing email lists. Participants completed an online survey.

Findings:

Overall, oncology nurses reported providing lifestyle counseling to most cancer survivors when appropriate. The majority of oncology nurses said they were receptive to receiving additional training about lifestyle counseling. Participants who had received additional training and who lived in the United States were more likely to provide counseling to cancer survivors. Concerning their own health behaviors, no meaningful differences were found regarding lifestyle behavior counseling practices, which contrasts with findings from previous research. Strengthening oncology nurses' lifestyle behavior counseling knowledge and skills may offer opportunities to enhance survivors' optimal health and quality of life and to reduce their risk of recurrence.

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