“Promoting continuity of care”—Specialist nurses’ role experiences in gynaecological oncology: A qualitative study

Andrea Kobleder*, Hanna Mayer, Larissa Gehrig, Beate Senn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

14 Citations (Scopus)


Aims and objectives: To investigate the experiences of specialist nurses in Switzerland concerning their role of caring for women with gynaecological cancer. Background: Women with gynaecological cancer often face complex situations, which require an integrative and quality-assured approach by the healthcare system. Specialist nurses can play an important role in supporting these patients. However, in countries where the role of specialist nurses is at a developmental stage, their role lacks clarity. Design: A qualitative descriptive design was chosen to gain insights into experiences of specialist nurses who care for women with gynaecological cancer. Methods: We conducted three focus groups with 12 specialist nurses to access their experiences with regard to their role. Thematic qualitative text analysis was used to interpret the results. Results: Divided into six main themes, the study results describe specialist nurses’ (1) current and (2) aspired role. (A) Counselling, (B) guidance, (C) key contact person and (D) team support are relevant themes in their current role. The themes (E) provision of resources and (F) extended knowledge are relevant to their aspired role. Within their current and aspired roles, the specialist nurses’ scope of practice is defined as “promoting continuity of care.”. Conclusions: The results indicate aspects of specialist nurses’ current and aspired roles. Detailed role descriptions and legal requirements are necessary to further support nurses towards an extended and specialised practice. In the context of gynaecological cancer survivors, services should be developed, where specialist nurses can play an important role in providing continuous care. Relevance to clinical practice: To support implementation of specialist nursing in clinical practice, resources have to be mobilised and role descriptions should be provided. By creating an appropriate framework, the specialist nurse can turn into an important support for women with gynaecological cancer, in addition to current healthcare services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4890-4898
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Issue number23-24
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • advanced practice nursing
  • gynaecological cancer
  • qualitative research
  • supportive care
  • Nurse's Role
  • Humans
  • Focus Groups
  • Oncology Nursing/standards
  • Switzerland
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female/nursing
  • Counseling
  • Continuity of Patient Care/standards
  • Female
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Qualitative Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


Dive into the research topics of '“Promoting continuity of care”—Specialist nurses’ role experiences in gynaecological oncology: A qualitative study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this