Patients are not always adequately prepared to start chemotherapy. Information given may not be consistent and little education is given on how patients can be empowered to support themselves to manage side effects of treatment. A pre-chemotherapy education session delivered in a group setting was developed to improve and standardise the information given to patients prior to starting treatment and to reduce the amount of time delivering one to one pre-chemotherapy sessions.
The project was led by senior cancer nurses who identified four themes that became the focus of the education session; safety, patient experience, process and patient empowerment. The education session was piloted for gynaecology patients before expanding to all new referrals. We collected both qualitative and quantitative data pre and post the sessions using a 0-10 rating scale to evaluate how informed, how worried and how confident patients felt about their prospective treatment.
Since April 2017 we have had a total of 211 attendees, inc relatives which is approx 25% of new patient referrals to Chemotherapy Daycare. When asked about how informed patients felt about their treatment plan they had an average score of 6.7[SD2.5] before the session, increasing by 28% to 8.6[SD1.6] afterwards. When asked about how worried patients felt about their treatment they had an average score of 6.3[SD2.7], decreasing by 19% to 5.1[SD2.8] afterwards. When asked how confident patients felt, they had an average score of 6[SD2.4], increasing by 16% to 7[SD2.3] afterwards. Analysis of the qualitative data showed positive feedback but also highlighted problems with patients understanding the process to treatment.
The education session is a useful way of providing information to patients and improves their confidence. Patients on average become less worried after attending the session although some patients felt more worried, likely to be because they were confronted with the reality of their situation. The main challenges were to engage the clinical teams as this was a change in practice. In response to concerns around travelling distance and numerous appointments we are developing a patient education video for patients to watch at their convenience.
Clinical trial identification
Legal entity responsible for the study
Has not received any funding.
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.