Exploring the education and information needs of patients on oral anticancer medicines
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Exploring the education and information needs of patients on oral anticancer medicines

Terry Hanan Nursing development co-ordinator, National Cancer Control Programme, Dublin
Louise Mullen Research psychologist, National Cancer Control Programme, Dublin

Terry Hanan and Louise Mullen outline the findings of a survey of patients in a Dublin hospital and how they can inform the debate on treatment

Aim To explore the education and information needs of patients taking oral anticancer medicines (OAMs) from the perspective of patients, community pharmacists and medical oncology teams.

Method This qualitative study was undertaken in a Dublin hospital using semi-structured interviews with patients, telephone interviews with community pharmacists and a focus group with the medical oncology team.

Findings For patients establishing a routine in taking OAMs was crucial. Knowing the important safety messages to reiterate to patients and having contact details for the medical oncology team were important for community pharmacists. Interdisciplinary management of patients taking OAMs and dedicated clinics were important for the medical oncology team.

Conclusion Oral chemotherapy use has many advantages but there are safety considerations and patients need to know about potential side effects and their management. The findings will inform the development of national guidelines for management of patients taking OAMs.

Cancer Nursing Practice. 14, 5,23-28. doi: 10.7748/cnp.14.5.23.e1197

Correspondence

terry.hanan@cancercontrol.ie

Peer review

This article has been subject to double-blind review and checked using antiplagiarism software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 25 February 2015

Accepted: 22 April 2015