Background: Oral agents for cancer treatment commonly are prescribed throughout the world. Since oral agents usually are self-administered or administered by lay caregivers, patient education is vital to help ensure that the oral agents are being stored, handled, and taken correctly. When oral agents are taken as prescribed and patients are well informed about signs and symptoms to report, patient outcomes are optimized. Patient education varies globally; consequently, there is a need for a consistent and comprehensive approach to educate patients about oral cancer treatment.
Goal of work: To create a teaching tool to be used with patients receiving oral cancer agents for worldwide use.
Materials and methods: Six oncology nurse experts conducted a literature review and convened as an expert panel to draft a teaching tool for patients receiving oral cancer agents. The tool includes key assessment questions, generic education discussion points, drug-specific education, and evaluation questions to help ensure that patients/caregivers understand the information provided. Eighteen healthcare providers from 15 countries reviewed the tool for clarity and usefulness in practice by scoring each item in the teaching tool on a 0-10 scale ("0 = not at all to "10" = most clear/useful"). Items that scored 5 or below required comments. At the Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) Symposium in 2008, the healthcare providers who reviewed the teaching tool met with the oncology nurse experts who had developed the tool to review the item scores and revise the tool as necessary.
Results: All items on the teaching tool received high scores, with the exception of items on refilling prescriptions and insurance issues, which vary from country to country. There was consensus that the MASCC Teaching Tool for Patients Receiving Oral Agents for Cancer was ready to be used and further evaluated in clinical practice.
Conclusions: The MASCC Teaching Tool for Patients Receiving Oral Agents for Cancer is an available resource to assist healthcare providers assess and teach patients about oral cancer treatment.