The Cost-Effectiveness of Clinical Nurse Specialist–Led Interventions in Palliative Care

Key Questions Answered
  • What role can Clinical Nurse Specialists play in palliative care?
  • What does the evidence say about the contributions they can make to improving care and lowering costs?
Key Themes and Takeaways

This resource presents results from a systematic review of the international evidence on the costs, resource use, and cost-effectiveness of Clinical Nurse Specialist–led interventions for patients with palliative care needs.

  • Clinical Nurse Specialists are playing an increasingly important role in the care of patients with palliative care needs, but little is known about how cost-effective their interventions are.
  • This paper reviewed the evidence from 79 studies, focusing on a variety of contributions from Clinical Nurse Specialists, including clinical interventions, support and education, and care coordination activities. The authors considered the quality of each study, which varied widely.
  • The evidence suggests that Clinical Nurse Specialist interventions may be effective in reducing specific resource use such as hospitalizations, length of stay, and health care costs. The evidence regarding their cost-effectiveness is mixed.
  • Future studies should ensure that Clinical Nurse Specialists’ roles and activities are clearly described and evaluated.
Natalia Salamanca-Balan
Jane Seymour
Glenys Caswell
David Whynes
Angela Tod
Population Addressed
People with Advanced Illness
Level of Evidence
Strong Evidence
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