Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 16, Issue 9, pp 1075–1083 | Cite as

Role of the nurse in patient education and follow-up of people receiving oral chemotherapy treatment: an International survey

  • Sultan KavEmail author
  • Judi Johnson
  • Cynthia Rittenberg
  • Paz Fernadez-Ortega
  • Tarja Suominen
  • Pia Riis Olsen
  • Elisabeth Patiraki
  • Davina Porock
  • Annette Dahler
  • Jolanta Toliusiene
  • Dusanka Tadic
  • Pongpak Pittayapan
  • Vijay Roy
  • Qi Wang
  • Meric Colak
  • Hanan Saca-Hazboun
  • David Makumi
  • Ilana Kadmon
  • Sarah Ben Ami
  • Elsie Anderson
  • Rebecca Clark-Snow
Original Article



The aim of this study was to explore the nursing role in education and follow-up of patients who were taking oral chemotherapy (CT) and to identify the worldwide gap in patient education about oral CT.

Materials and methods

Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer members were invited to participate in a survey on oral CT. Nurse coordinators collected data via a 16-item questionnaire. Respondents totaled 1115 oncology nurses from 15 countries.


Findings showed that about half of subjects work in outpatient/ambulatory clinics and had given at least two or more oral CT drugs. Although 52% had some type of guidelines/protocols, 47% reported not having received any education about oral CT drugs. While 64% report being involved in patient education, 58% of subjects indicated lack of patient education materials that are specific for oral CT agents. Only 27% stated that they gave all necessary information such as when and how to take the drugs, drug safety and storage, side effects, and symptom management. Reasons for not being involved in oral CT education and follow-up included beliefs that the physician plans the oral CT and gives patients necessary instructions (34%), that nurses only see patients who receive intravenous chemotherapy (16%), that nurses have lack of knowledge about oral agents (15%), and belief that physicians are responsible for patient follow-up. The nurses suggested better education and follow-up of patients to include the written patient education materials (33%) and professional education for nurses (30%).


Findings revealed the need for professional education for nurses to ensure comprehensive, consistent patient education and development of written materials for patients receiving oral CT treatment.


Oral chemotherapy Nursing Patient education 



The authors would like to thank all the nurses who responded to this study, members of the MASCC Education Study Group, and MASCC for their financial support. We would also like to acknowledge Anita Nirenberg, RN, MS, CNP, AOCN for reviewing the manuscript. This study has been supported by the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sultan Kav
    • 1
    Email author
  • Judi Johnson
    • 2
  • Cynthia Rittenberg
    • 2
  • Paz Fernadez-Ortega
    • 3
  • Tarja Suominen
    • 4
  • Pia Riis Olsen
    • 5
  • Elisabeth Patiraki
    • 6
  • Davina Porock
    • 7
  • Annette Dahler
    • 8
  • Jolanta Toliusiene
    • 9
  • Dusanka Tadic
    • 10
  • Pongpak Pittayapan
    • 11
  • Vijay Roy
    • 12
  • Qi Wang
    • 13
  • Meric Colak
    • 14
  • Hanan Saca-Hazboun
    • 15
  • David Makumi
    • 16
  • Ilana Kadmon
    • 17
  • Sarah Ben Ami
    • 18
  • Elsie Anderson
    • 19
  • Rebecca Clark-Snow
    • 20
  1. 1.Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of NursingBaskent UniversityAnkaraTurkey
  2. 2.Multinational Association of Supportive Care in CancerMetairieUSA
  3. 3.Institut Català Oncologia ICOBarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.University of KuopioKuopioFinland
  5. 5.Aarhus University HospitalAarhusDenmark
  6. 6.University of AthensAthensGreece
  7. 7.University of NottinghamNottinghamUK
  8. 8.Greater Southern Area Health ServiceQueanbeyanAustralia
  9. 9.Kaunas University of MedicineKaunasLithuania
  10. 10.Institute for Oncology and Radiology of SebiaBelgradeSerbia
  11. 11.Intravenous and Chemotherapy Nurse Society of ThailandBangkokThailand
  12. 12.Indraprastha Apollo HospitalsNew DelhiIndia
  13. 13.Tianjin Medical University Cancer HospitalTianjinChina
  14. 14.Baskent University Faculty of Health Sciences, Health ManagementAnkaraTurkey
  15. 15.Bethlehem UniversityBethlehemPalestinian Authority
  16. 16.Aga Khan University HospitalNairobiKenya
  17. 17.Hadassah Medical OrganizationJerusalemIsrael
  18. 18.Israeli Oncology Nursing SocietyGiv’atayimIsrael
  19. 19.Park Nicollet InstituteSt. Louis ParkUSA
  20. 20.University of Kansas Cancer CenterKansas CityUSA

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