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Keywords:

  • cancer;
  • clinical trials;
  • education;
  • knowledge;
  • nursing;
  • research;
  • skills

scott k., white k., johnson c. & roydhouse j.k. (2011) Knowledge and skills of cancer clinical trials nurses in Australia. Journal of Advanced Nursing 68(5), 1111–1121.

Abstract

Aims.  This paper is a report of the development and testing of a questionnaire measuring knowledge and skills of cancer clinical trials nurse in Australia.

Background.  The role of cancer clinical trials nurse, widely acknowledged as an integral member of the clinical research team, has evolved in recent years. Elements of the clinical trials nurse role in cancer have previously been described. To evaluate specific cancer clinical trials nurse educational and training needs, the development of a valid and reliable tool is required.

Methods.  In 2009, a study was conducted in three stages. Stage I: questionnaire development and pilot testing; stage II: focus group; stage III: national survey. Internal consistency reliability testing and multi-trait analysis of item convergent/divergent validity were employed. Regression analysis was used to identify predictors of clinical trials nurse knowledge and skills.

Results.  The national survey was a 48-item questionnaire, measuring six clinical trial knowledge and seven skills sub-scales. Of 61 respondents, 90% were women, with mean age 43 years, 19 years as a Registered Nurse and 5 years as a cancer clinical trials nurse. Self-reported knowledge and skills were satisfactory to good. Internal consistency reliability was high (Cronbach’s alpha: knowledge = 0·98; skills = 0·90). Criteria for item convergent/divergent validity were met. Number of years as cancer clinical trials nurse was positively related to self-reported knowledge and skills.

Conclusion.  Preliminary data suggest that the national survey is reliable and valid. Data have contributed to better understanding the knowledge and skills of cancer clinical trials nurse in Australia and development of a postgraduate course in clinical trials.