Feasibility and Acceptance of a Pharmacist-Run Tele-oncology Service for Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting in Ambulatory Cancer Patients Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • BACKGROUND: The use of telemedicine for cancer patients is limited, particularly in Asia. These patients need to be monitored because more are being treated as outpatients, so that any treatment-related side effects can be managed. We assessed the feasibility and acceptance of a pharmacist-run tele-oncology service to monitor chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) in ambulatory cancer patients. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A single-center, prospective study was conducted at a local cancer center. Patients' CINV symptoms were monitored through short message service (SMS) for 5 days post-chemotherapy. Feasibility was measured by patients' adherence to the service, patient satisfaction, and number of pharmacist interventions. Acceptance was measured by the accrual rate. RESULTS: The accrual rate was 37.6% (68/181 patients). Sixty patients (median age, 49.5 years) completed the study. Overall adherence was 73.3%. The majority (90.0%) were comfortable with the duration of SMS monitoring, especially adherent patients (95.5% versus 75.0%, p=0.038). Over half (61.7%) found the SMS advice useful. Twenty-two intervention calls were made by pharmacists for uncontrolled CINV. CONCLUSIONS: A pharmacist-run tele-oncology service for real-time monitoring of CINV is feasible in ambulatory cancer patients. Incorporating the monitoring of other side effects will enhance its value and acceptance by patients for post-chemotherapy symptom management.

authors

  • Yap, Kevin Y
  • Low, Hui X
  • Koh, Ken S
  • Un, Matthew
  • Shih, Vivianne
  • Chan, Alexandre

publication date

  • 2013