Promulgation of guidelines for mucositis management: educating health care professionals and patients
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- McGuire, D.B., Johnson, J. & Migliorati, C. Support Care Cancer (2006) 14: 548. doi:10.1007/s00520-006-0060-7
The Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer/International Society of Oral Oncology (MASCC/ISOO) Mucositis and Patient and Professional Education Study Groups are collaborating to improve the promulgation of the updated mucositis management guidelines. The initial step in the collaboration was to survey cancer care health professionals to determine their awareness of the original 2004 guidelines and their opinions on the usefulness of patient educational materials based on the guidelines.
Materials and methods
The authors surveyed four samples (three US and one European) of cancer health care professionals attending three cancer-related professional conferences between May and July 2005 using a ten-item questionnaire in both paper-and-pencil and web-based formats. Data were compiled and analyzed using descriptive statistics.
All respondents were generally aware of the importance of mucositis as a treatment-limiting toxicity with life-threatening complications and endorsed regular oral assessment and dental care practices. Only about one third of the US respondents were aware of the 2004 guidelines in contrast to 80% of the European respondents. A majority of respondents across all four surveys (66–93%) felt strongly that educational materials based on the guidelines were needed and that they would use them, while a smaller number (7–29%) indicated they might use them if a patient had a problem with mucositis.
Awareness of the guidelines remains limited in the US, and use of the guidelines worldwide is minimal. The Mucositis and Patient and Professional Education Study Groups have developed a set of strategies to enhance dissemination, awareness, and use of the updated guidelines and to promote patient education based on the guidelines. Future work will focus on implementation and evaluation of the guidelines in clinical practice.