Comparison between cancer specialists and general physicians regarding the education of nurse practitioners in Japan: a postal survey of the Japanese Society of Clinical Oncology.

Research paper by Yasushi Y Ishida, Masahiko M Hatao, Osamu O Fukushima, Michiko M Mori, Fumiko F Isozaki, Asako A Okuyama

Indexed on: 14 Aug '12Published on: 14 Aug '12Published in: International Journal of Clinical Oncology


Japanese physicians' attitudes regarding the education of nurse practitioners (NPs) are not well described.A survey was mailed to 1,094 board members of the Japanese Society of Clinical Oncology (JSCO) and the Japanese Primary Care Association (JPCA), and the directors of the clinical training program for physicians. The physicians of JSCO were classified as the cancer specialist group, and both the board members of JPCA and the directors of the clinical training program for physicians constituted the general physician group. We compared the responses of cancer specialists and general physicians.The survey response rate was 25.9% (69 of 266) in the cancer specialist group and 19.4% (161 of 828) in the general physician group. The median age of respondents was 53 and 55 years, respectively, of which 84 and 79%, respectively, were men. We found that the percentages of respondents who considered NP education necessary were almost identical in the 2 groups (r = 0.898, p < 0.0001). Education items considered necessary for NPs by >80% respondents in both groups included many symptoms, emergency management, basic procedures, general screening, palliative care including management against adverse effects, health education, and communication. More cancer specialists than general physicians (p < 0.01) expected NPs to be educated in multidisciplinary practice and palliative care, including management against adverse effects.Our study suggests that cancer specialists expect NPs to provide symptom management and psychosocial support, clarify information, provide education, and work as a member of a multidisciplinary team.