Management of oral anticancer drugs: feasibility and patient approval of a specific monitoring program.


PubMedID: 25076232

Cirillo M, Lunardi G, Coati F, Ciccarelli L, Alestra S, Mariotto M, Micheloni B, Cassandrini PA, Inno A, Magarotto R, Nicodemo M, Picece V, Turazza M, Gori S, Venturini M. Management of oral anticancer drugs: feasibility and patient approval of a specific monitoring program. Tumori. 2014;100(3):243-8.
Background. Oral anticancer drugs are an attractive treatment option, even if patient-focused education and specific nursing staff are needed to support home care intervention. Our aim was to assess the feasibility of a nurse monitoring program for patients taking oral chemotherapy, and to evaluate the patients' approval of the program. Methods. At the beginning of oral chemotherapy treatment, outpatients completed a specific form so that we could assess their comprehension of the information related to therapy. Nurses gave patients a diary to record drug intake and toxicity at home, and phone calls were planned to evaluate toxicity or modification of the treatment plan during the first and second cycles of therapy. Finally, patients were requested to complete a specific form to express their level of agreement with the program. Results. Eighty-one patients were included in the analysis. Nurse intervention at the beginning of therapy resulted in an increased proportion of patients having received correct information related to treatment, with a level of confidence rising to more than 90% for all items considered. One hundred ninety-one of 243 planned phone calls were made, corresponding to 78.6% of the planned activity. The diary proved a valid tool for patients and 144 of 153 diaries were completed at home (94%). Only 5 patients (6%) had unplanned hospital admission for toxicity, probably because of early intervention by nursing staff. Only 2 out of 63 patients expressed a negative opinion, while the remaining patients expressed their approval of the program. Conclusion. Our model proved practicable and accepted by patients, thus supporting the role of nurse intervention in training and monitoring patients receiving oral chemotherapy.