Objectives To transform evidence from guidelines for clinical practice tools for remote management of patients experiencing symptoms related to cancer treatment. Clinical practice protocols are defined as user-friendly knowledge translation tools to support patient care. These tools narrow the know-do gap by presenting the best available evidence from guidelines while using a format that is sensitive to how nurses think and what nurses do.
Methods Mixed methods descriptive study guided by CAN-IMPLEMENT©. The process involved: a) conducting a systematic search for guidelines; b) developing symptom-specific protocols using evidence from quality appraised clinical practice guidelines; c) reaching consensus on the clinical practice protocol template, and d) validating the clinical practice protocols.
Results Clinical practice protocols were developed and validated for 13 symptoms using 42 clinical practice guidelines with a median of 3 guidelines per protocol (range 1 for bleeding to 7 vomiting). For the first two protocols, source guideline AGREE rigour subscale ratings ranged from 8% to 86% (median 60.1; diarrhoea; 40.5 fever). The protocols were developed using guidelines, symptom severity questions included the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System, and iterative feedback from practicing nurses. Usability testing revealed: high readability, just the right amount of information, and appropriate terms. Access to protocols needs to be tailored to individual practices (e.g. electronic application, access to paper-based versions). Nurses requested training and support to implement them.
Discussion These tools, created from guidelines, transform evidence into user-friendly protocols for use by nurses when guiding patients at home to better manage their cancer treatment-related symptoms.
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