Building Capacity in Cancer Nurses to Deliver Self-management Support: A Call for Action Paper

Raymond Javan Chan, Deborah K. Mayer, Bogda Koczwara, Victoria Loerzel, Andreas Charalambous, Oluwaseyifunmi Andi Agbejule, Doris Howell

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

9 Citations (Scopus)


With cancer being recognized as a chronic illness, self-management has been identified as integral to person-centered cancer care.1 Self-management is defined as “the individual’s ability to manage the symptoms, treatment, physical and psychosocial consequences, and lifestyle changes inherent in living with a chronic condition.”2 The ever-changing cancer care environment, with many aspects of the care being shifted to the home setting, has created and sustained a pressing need for patients and informal/family caregivers to self-monitor and self-manage impacts of their cancer, treatment-related adverse effects, and cancer-related symptoms. However, those tasks cannot occur without support. Cancer nurses play pivotal roles in providing self-management support (SMS) and improving patient outcomes throughout the cancer care trajectory.3–5 Systematic reviews have reported that self-management education and support, delivered by nurses educated and skilled in facilitating patient engagement, can result in positive behavioral change and better clinical outcomes in chronic conditions (eg, reduced blood pressure in hypertension, lower A1c in diabetes,6 cancer, reduced symptom severity, better quality of life).7–9 Better integration of SMS in cancer care requires effective implementation strategies at multiple levels including system-level policy change, strengthening of the evidence base through effectiveness and translational research, and workforce capacity building. This editorial argues the importance of capacity building in the cancer nursing workforce to provide high-quality SMS to cancer survivors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-342
Number of pages2
JournalCancer nursing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • cancer nursing
  • Self-management support
  • cancer care


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