Oral Anti-Cancer Therapy: Meeting the Challenges of this New Practice Paradigm

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Janna C. Roop, PhD, RN, CHPN
College of Nursing, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI

Learning Objective 1: list three challenges of oral oncolytic therapies from the perspectives of nurses and patients

Learning Objective 2: identify two strategies for meeting the challenges of oral oncolytic therapy


The study has two aims regarding oral oncolytic drugs:

1) to explore the experiences of patients who receive outpatient administration of anti-cancer drugs by mouth and

2) to query nurses about current practices and their experiences of caring for patients who take anti-cancer drugs by mouth. The specific aims are the following:

1. To uncover patients’ perceptions and experiences related to following prescribed oral anti-cancer therapies;

2. To identify common barriers to adherence to the regimen;

3. To determine if there are specific times when adherence is most difficult (one week after starting therapy, two weeks, two months, etc.);

4. To uncover nurses’ perspectives relative to treatment adherence;

5. To identify current practices regarding patients who are taking anti-cancer drugs by mouth; and 6. To identify illness-related, treatment-related, and symptom characteristics of the patients who receive oral anti-cancer therapies.


The investigators will interview patients about their experiences taking anti-cancer drugs by mouth. The interviews will be transcribed to create a text, which will be analyzed for content, themes, and differences. When no new information is emerging from the interviews, the investigators will recruit additional patients until a total sample size of 40 is achieved. These additional patients will not be interviewed, but will complete the 4 questionnaires.

All patients (interview and instrument-only) will be asked to complete 4 questionnaires to describe their general symptoms, fatigue, sleep problems, and quality of life.

The investigators will examine all 40 patients' medical records to obtain demographic, disease-related, and treatment-related information. The investigators will also conduct focus groups for clinical nurses, which will be transcribed and examined for commonalities, themes, and differences. Nurses will also complete 1 short questionnaire about their patients' symptoms.

Results: Data collection is just beginning (November, 2008). Preliminary results will be reported at the Research Congress.
Conclusion: As above, data collection & analysis is just beginning.