Nursing Care in Dermatologic Oncology: a Qualitative Study

  • Jordan SibeoniEmail author
  • Marine Marc
  • Marion Lagaude
  • Massimiliano Orri
  • Laurence Verneuil
  • Anne Revah-Levy


Nurses in hospital dermatology departments must increasingly provide care for patients with skin cancer. Although the experience of oncology nurses in numerous specialties has been widely explored, no study has focused on the experience of nurses in dermatologic oncology. We aimed to explore how nurses experience their care for patients with skin cancer. This is an inductive, exploratory study employing semi-structured interviews and focus groups with nurses, followed by thematic analysis. The study included purposive sample of 14 nurses practicing in different sectors of this dermatology department. Data were collected via two focus groups of six nurses each and 14 individual, semi-structured interviews, both using a researcher-developed interview guide. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed with thematic analysis. The most illustrative quotes were translated into English. Nurses’ experiences of providing care in dermatologic oncology are organized around two themes: (1) their practices for these patients and (2) their management of emotional distress as the major issue in care, especially at night. Our results show the predominant place of relationships with patients in nurses’ practices and of their emotional distress due to their closeness to the patients. Specific and original aspects have also been demonstrated with practical implications to be drawn for nurses’ supportive care role: the distress engendered by the specific and harrowing experience of nurses dealing with skin cancer, which can be both seen and smelled.


Qualitative research Nursing care Nurses Supportive care Skin cancer 



We would like to thank all the nurses who participated and JA Cahn for the translation.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material


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Copyright information

© American Association for Cancer Education 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Service Universitaire de Psychiatrie de l’Adolescent, Argenteuil Hospital CentreArgenteuilFrance
  2. 2.ECSTRRA Team, UMR-1153, InsermUniversité de Paris, F-75010ParisFrance
  3. 3.Department of DermatologyCaen University HospitalCaenFrance
  4. 4.Université de Caen Normandie, Medical SchoolCaenFrance
  5. 5.McGill Group for Suicide Studies, Douglas Mental Health University Institute, Department of PsychiatryMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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