Current Practice Patterns for Oral Chemotherapy: Results of a National Survey

Janna C. Roop

Horng-Shiuann Wu

ambulatory care, oral chemotherapy, chemotherapy, clinical practice, Patient education
ONF 2013, 41(2), 185-194. DOI: 10.1188/14.ONF.41-02AP

Purpose/Objectives: To describe current nursing practices in the United States regarding care and safety of patients taking oral chemotherapy.

Design: This three-phase study consisted of development, validation, and implementation of a national online survey.

Setting: Survey of oncology nurses in outpatient settings.

Sample: 577 oncology nurses.

Methods: Surveys were emailed to 5,000 members of the Oncology Nursing Society. The survey included 17 forced-choice items and one free-text item. Descriptive statistics and content analysis were obtained.

Main Research Variables: Patient care practices, nursing resources, and barriers to medication adherence.

Findings: Fifty-one percent of the respondents worked in practices that had developed specific policies, procedures, and resources for patients on oral chemotherapy. Barriers to treatment adherence included cost (81%) and adverse effects (72%). Practices with specific policies differed in clinical and statistical significance from practices without policies on almost every survey item. Free-text responses revealed that many practices have erratic procedures and inadequate interdisciplinary communication.

Conclusions: Systematic reliable policies and procedures for patient education, documentation, and interdisciplinary communication are urgently needed.

Implications for Nursing: Nurses should provide education and repeated teaching to improve patient safety, adherence to the medication, and self-monitoring for adverse effects.

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