Nurse-Delivered Telephone Intervention to Reduce Oral Mucositis and Prevent Dehydration

Tracy A. Ruegg

Janice M. Morse

Raphael L. Yechieli

oral mucositis, telephone intervention, dehydration, symptom management, pilot study
ONF 2021, 48(2), 242-256. DOI: 10.1188/21.ONF.242-256

Problem Statement: This study evaluates the feasibility of a nurse-delivered telephone intervention to reduce oral mucositis severity and prevent dehydration in patients with lung or head and neck cancer undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Design: This study used a two-phase, qualitatively driven, mixed-methods descriptive design.

Data Sources: 11 participants were recruited from an academic cancer center in southern Florida. Participants received symptom management education followed by twice-weekly tailored nurse coaching telephone calls.

Analysis: Questionnaires measuring symptom severity, health-related quality of life, perceived self-efficacy, and symptom self-management were administered at four data points. Data on unscheduled medical visits were collected. Guided interviews were conducted four weeks post-treatment and analyzed qualitatively using content analysis.

Findings: Participants found the intervention to be acceptable. Oral mucositis symptom severity was minimized, and dehydration was avoided. The intervention enabled symptom self-management and improved perceived self-efficacy.

Implications for Practice: Emotional support provided by the nurse was crucial, exemplifying improvement over an automated system.

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