Nurses’ practices in the peripheral intravenous catheterization of adult oncology patients: a mix-method study

Paulo Santos-Costa*, Filipe Paiva-Santos, Liliana B. Sousa, Rafael A. Bernardes, Filipa Ventura, William David Fearnley, Anabela Salgueiro-Oliveira, Pedro Parreira, Margarida Vieira, João Graveto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


A significant number of adult oncology patients require at least one peripheral intravenous catheter to fulfill their therapeutic plan. Recent evidence indicates that catheter failure rates are high in this cohort, impacting care outcomes and patient experience during cancer treatment. This reality represents a challenge to nurses worldwide since in most international settings they are responsible for delivering quality care during the insertion and maintenance of such devices. This study aims to explore current nursing practices regarding the insertion, maintenance, and surveillance of peripheral intravenous catheters in oncology patients. A two-phase mix-method study was conducted with the nursing team from the surgical ward of a large oncology hospital in Portugal. In phase one (observational prospective study), nurses’ practices during catheter insertion and maintenance were observed by the research team and recorded using standardized instruments and validated scales. In phase two, three online focus groups were conducted with the nursing team to present the results observed in phase one and explore their perceptions of current practices. All ethical principles were assured throughout the study. Significant divergent practices were observed and identified by the nurses, especially concerning patient involvement, nurses’ adherence to the aseptic, non-touch technique, catheter stabilization and dressing, and catheter flushing and locking. Such practices may partially explain the high complication rate found (26%) and substantiate the need for future intervention in this field.
Original languageEnglish
Article number151
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Personalized Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • Mix-method study
  • Nurses
  • Oncology patients
  • Peripheral intravenous catheterization


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