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Villanova DNP student works to improve coping skills in breast cancer patients

Meghan Coleman, RN, MSN, CRNP, AOCNP, was selected in April as a recipient to receive a clinical doctoral scholarship for $5,000 from the Oncology Nursing Society Foundation. She is a member of the inaugural cohort of the DNP program at Villanova (Pa.) University College of Nursing and is working on her DNP project, “An APN Home Care Intervention: Implementing Evidence Based Coping Mechanisms for Breast Cancer Patients.”

Coleman holds a nurse practitioner position on the Penn Wissahickon Home Care and Hospice’s Cancer Longitudinal Advanced Illness Management project. CLAIM is a three-year study evaluating the effectiveness of a palliative care, team-based approach to caring for cancer patients still in active treatment.

“Our goal is to assist in transitions of care as they progress through the cancer illness trajectory,” Coleman said in a news release.

She was 18 when her father died after a seven-month battle with leukemia.

“The nurses at the cancer center provided us a lifeline during his illness,” Coleman said in the release. She then pursued nursing as her profession, starting with earning her BSN at Villanova, and ultimately practicing as an NP with oncology patients.

Coleman said in the release that her observations during the past 14 years have led to this study. She said in the release that “the psychosocial needs of oncology patients are often not addressed at the time of consultation. I have also found that there is a link between psychosocial distress and an increase in emotional and physical symptoms. These symptoms can lead to delays in treatment, an increase in anxiety and an overuse of the healthcare resources available.”

According to the release, the scholarship will help reduce her financial commitment toward earning her DNP — a degree that will further her career objective of working collaboratively in the outpatient adult oncology setting.

Coleman’s study will propel her toward that goal, as well.

“It is my intention that through this DNP intervention, the patient will have enhanced coping skills to assist in adapting to this breast cancer diagnosis,” she said in the release. “Through education and discussion regarding coping, the patient will have an improved sense of well-being and quality of life.”

By | 2013-08-10T00:00:00-04:00 August 10th, 2013|Categories: Philadelphia/Tri-State, Regional|0 Comments

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