1634 - Meeting the challenge of oral anti-cancer therapy education - an Irish perspective

Date 28 September 2012
Event ESMO Congress 2012
Session Publication Only
Topics Patient Education and Advocacy
Presenter Donna Graham
Authors D.M. Graham1, E. Duignan2, A. Campbell3, K.J. O'Byrne3
  • 1Dmoh, St James's Hospital, IE-8 - Dublin/IE
  • 2Haematology Oncology Day Care, St James's Hospital, IE-8 - Dublin/IE
  • 3Medical Oncology, St James's Hospital, IE-8 - Dublin/IE



Prescription of oral anti-cancer therapy (OAT) is increasing. Safety and adherence issues surrounding OAT are causing a shift in the traditional roles and responsibilities of oncologists, nurses and pharmacists. The aim of this study was to evaluate education provided to patients receiving OAT and to develop a standardised tool to improve the education process and its documentation.


Over a 1-month period patients attending St James's Hospital oncology department for OAT were identified. Charts were reviewed for each of these patients. Analysis: Criteria were established to assess standards of documentation. 1. All charts should have documentary evidence of patient education for OAT. 2. Documentary evidence should include: side effects, schedule of treatment, support services, storage, handling, disposal and interactions.


During the review period, 35 patients receiving OAT were identified. Of these, 12 patients had documentation of education by a doctor (34%), 15 (43%) by a nurse. Documentary evidence of education about side effects was noted in 22 cases (63%), schedule of treatment in 16 cases (46%), support services in 16 (46%), safe storage in 3 cases (9%), safe disposal, safe handling and interactions in 2 cases each (6%). Recommendations: A standardised tool has been developed to enable healthcare staff to accurately document issues discussed during patient education for OAT. This is in the form of a checklist to ensure that all elements including safety, timing of medication, interactions, monitoring and support are documented accurately. All patients prescribed OAT will be referred to a nurse-led OAT clinic to facilitate education. Healthcare staff in the oncology department will be educated about the tool and clinic and, following a pilot period, a repeat audit will be performed to assess the effectiveness of the tool. These results will also be presented.


All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.