SUPPORTIVE CARE IN CANCER, vol.14, no.12, pp.1252-1257, 2006 (SCI-Expanded)
Introduction: The goal of this study was to identify the nursing role in providing education and follow-ups of patients who were taking oral chemotherapy (CT) treatment in oncology clinics in Turkey. This study arises from the fact that an increasing number of oral CT agents are being developed and used in clinical practice. Methods: One hundred and two nurses from various centers completed a 16-item questionnaire. Results: Nearly half of the nurses work in outpatient/ambulatory clinics (46.1%); the most commonly used oral CT agents were etoposide, capecitabine, methotrexate, hydroxyurea, melphalan, and uracil plus tegafur; 86.3% of the nurses had not received any education on the oral drugs; 72.6% of the nurses stated there was no guldeline/protocol for oral CT administration in their unit; and 91.2% of the subjects reported the lack of educational materials specifically for oral CT agents. Half of the subjects reported providing some patient education, mostly giving information about "timing," among them 42.3% reported not giving any information on drug safety, side effects, or symptom management. The reasons for the nurses not being involved in oral CT education and follow-ups were because the physicians plan oral CT and follow-ups of the patients and because of a lack of knowledge. Conclusions: Nurses and physicians describe the role of the nurse as "giving intravenous CT." Given that the number of oral CT agents is on the rise, nurses must begin to take an active role in patient education and follow-up.