• cancer;
  • clinical supervision;
  • discourse analysis;
  • nurses;
  • psychosocial nursing;
  • research methods;
  • theory-practice gap



This paper describes the research protocol for a study exploring if and how clinical supervision facilitates change in practice relating to psychosocial aspects of care for Health Professionals, who have been trained to deliver a psychosocial intervention to adults with cancer.


There is a recognized need to implement care that is in line with clinical practice guidelines for the psychosocial care of adults with cancer. Clinical supervision is recommended as a means to support Health Professionals in providing the recommended psychosocial care.


A qualitative design embedded within an experimental, stepped wedge randomized control trial.


The study will use discourse analysis to analyse audio-recorded data collected in clinical supervision sessions that are being delivered as one element of a large randomized control trial. The sessions will be attended primarily by nurses, but including physiotherapists, radiation therapists, occupational therapists. The Health Professionals are participants in a randomized control trial designed to reduce anxiety and depression of distressed adults with cancer. The sessions will be facilitated by psychiatrists experienced in psycho-oncology and the provision of clinical supervision.


The proposed research is designed specifically to facilitate exploration of the mechanisms by which clinical supervision enables Health Professionals to deliver a brief, tailored psychosocial intervention in the context of their everyday practice. This is the first study to use discourse analysis embedded within an experimental randomized control trial to explore the mechanisms of change generated within clinical supervision by analysing the discourse within the clinical supervision sessions.