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Education for Homecare Patients With Leukemia Following a Cycle of Chemotherapy: An Exploratory Pilot Study

Yu-Chu Chung

Huei-Lih Hwang

self-care, Patient education
ONF 2008, 35(5), E83-E89. DOI: 10.1188/08.ONF.E83-E89

Purpose/Objectives: To explore the differences in the outcome between routine health education and health education delivered through telephone-based surveys on self-care, symptom distress, and quality of life among homecare patients with leukemia after a cycle of hospitalized chemotherapy.

Design: A quasi-experimental research design.

Setting: A medical teaching center in Taipei, Taiwan.

Sample: 70 patients with leukemia.

Methods: A nonrandomized trial of a clinical-based intervention. Patients were selected into either an experimental (n = 35) or control (usual care) group (n = 35) according to the timing of their discharge. In addition to routine education before discharge, patients in the experimental group received educational and emotional support through two telephone sessions after discharge. Self-administered questionnaires were completed four weeks after discharge.

Main Research Variables: Self-care, symptom distress, and quality of life.

Findings: Significantly different scores were found between the two groups in self-care, symptom distress, and quality of life. The experimental group had higher scores in the self-care and quality of life categories, but lower scores for symptom distress.

Conclusions: The follow-up telephone calls, placed at the proper time, met patients' specific needs. The experimental group perceived a difference in self-care, symptom distress, and quality of life from the control group.

Implications for Nursing: Individualized telephone intervention can deliver continuing care. The use of telephone-based education should be included in nursing students' training.

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