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Pagnutti, L., Bin, A., Donato, R., Di Lena, G., Fabbro, C., Fornasiero, L., Gerratana, A., Rigon, L., Gonella, S. and Palese, A. (2015) Difficult intravenous access tool in patients receiving peripheral chemotherapy: A pilot-validation study. European Journal of Oncology Nursing. July 7th. .


PURPOSE: to develop a tool for measuring the difficulty of intravenous line insertion in cancer patients (DIVA-CP) receiving peripheral chemotherapy.

METHODS: a pilot-validation study divided into two phases was performed in a north-eastern Italian outpatient chemotherapy centre. In the first phase, a review of the literature and brainstorming sessions/direct discussions among expert oncology nurses were used to develop items on the DIVA-CP tool, and a panel of expert oncology nurses assessed the tool face and content validity. In the second phase, 260 adult patients undergoing single chemotherapy cycles were consecutively enrolled. Data was analysed for construct validity (explorative factor analysis) and inter-rater reliability (Cohen’s Kappa).

RESULTS: a 10-item tool was developed with four factors that were identified through factor analysis, explaining a total variance of 61.578%: accessibility to first choice veins (23.057%), venous fragility (15.197%), probable difficulties during the procedure (12.642%), and repeated exposure (10.691%). The tool demonstrated excellent inter-rater reliability (κ > 0.61 for 7 out of 10 items).

CONCLUSIONS: the DIVA-CP tool is still a pilot instrument that needs to be improved through future studies. The tool has great potential and may perform an important role in oncological settings, allowing for easier venous assessment of patients receiving peripheral chemotherapy who are at risk of difficult intravenous access insertion. In addition, this instrument may help nurses to identify patients that may benefit from a central catheter promptly.

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