Developing a national ‘low risk’ febrile neutropenia framework for use in children and young people's cancer care
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A Delphi study was undertaken to develop a framework guidance that would rationalise and standardise the care of children with febrile neutropenia (FNP) across the UK.
A mailed Delphi survey was undertaken with health professionals working in children's cancer units. The survey employed two rounds of feedback on 22 practice statements drawn from a systematic review of clinical evidence. Consensus was assumed for any statement where 80+ % of respondents indicated that they “agreed” or “strongly agreed”.
Consensus was reached on 21 of the 22 practice statements in round 1 that were categorised into six areas: definition of fever and neutropenia, initial management and choice of antibiotic, defining low-risk patients, strategy in low-risk patients and alternative approaches. Consensus could not be reached on whether patients needed to be afebrile to be suitable for discharge and the required length of outpatient antibiotic treatment.
A Delphi survey allowed the successful development of a national framework for identification and management of children with FNP. The use of an existing well-functioning professional network was key in this project's success.
KeywordsChildren Febrile neutropenia Delphi survey Practice framework
The authors would like to thank the Coordinating Centre: Children's Cancer & Leukaemia Group, CCLG Data Centre, University of Leicester, Leicester, which support the CCLG Supportive Care Group. Thanks also go to CCLG centres that participated in the study.
Conflict of interest
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