Supportive Care

Guidelines specific to cancer patients needed
More education about assessment and management of cardiotoxicity would strengthen the quality of nursing care of cancer patients, according to a study presented at the Oncology Nursing Society’s 2010 Advanced Practice Nursing /Institutes of Learning (APN/IOL)Conference in Orlando, Florida.

ORLANDO—Women who are on intravenous (IV) chemotherapy regimens for recurrent ovarian carcinoma are at risk for nonadherence or nonpersistence with their treatment. But telephone support by an advance practice nurse (APN) can lower this risk and even boost compliance, a new, nonrandomized study suggests.

CHICAGO—Among patients with lung cancer on highly emetogenic chemotherapy, those receiving palonosetron throughout all cycles of chemotherapy had a 31% lower risk of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) associated with an emergency department or hospital visit, than patients receiving other 5-hydroxytryptamine type 3 (5-HT3) receptor antagonists (RAs).

The study was presented by Hind T. Hatoum, PhD, of the Center of Pharmacoeconomic Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago during the 46th annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

A new intervention designed to help mothers cope with the stresses associated with their child’s cancer appears to be more effective long term compared with other psychological approaches, according to a study reported at the 42nd Congress of the International Society of Pediatric Oncology.

Difficulties with intimacy and sexuality are among the most common and longest lasting side effects of cancer treatments and can be caused by any of the cancer treatments currently available.1 Fortunately, even simple recommendations can go a long way toward ameliorating distress for most patients and their partners.2,3 Yet until recently this aspect of care for cancer patients has remained one o

CHICAGO—Cancer patients and survivors should strive to get 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, according to new national guidelines. That is the same recommendation for the general public.

Although the evidence indicates that most types of physical activity, from swimming to yoga to strength training, are beneficial for cancer patients, the guidelines say clinicians should tailor exercise recommendations to individual patients.

 CHICAGO—A risk stratification schema can be used to identify older patients who are at risk of grade 3 to 5 toxicity from chemotherapy. The schema includes risk factors based on cancer type, patient age, upfront dose of chemotherapy, the chemotherapeutic regimen used, and history of falling, among others, said Arti Hurria, MD.

“We wanted to develop a predictive model for tolerance to therapy in older adults with cancer,” she said.

SAN DIEGO—A program that calls for direct communication between interdisciplinary caregivers may help decrease falls in a hematology/oncology inpatient unit, according to data reported by Boston researchers.

Deborah O’Connor, RN, MS, CNML, at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and her colleagues presented the results of a falls prevention program that was “piloted” in a hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) unit at a tertiary academic teaching hospital.

A pilot program whereby oncology nurses telephone patients shortly after their hospital discharge helps improve patient satisfaction with the discharge process and discharge instructions, according to early results.

Mary Ann Long, MS, RN, OCN, at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) in Buffalo, New York, and colleagues evaluated the effectiveness of discharge instructions in two groups of patients. One group had recently been discharged from the hospital after surgery for a gastrointestinal malignancy, and the other group had been discharged after treatment for leukemia.

NEW ORLEANS—A 2007 report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) concluded that psychosocial issues created or exacerbated by cancer are “palpable, important, and potentially crippling” but can be effectively addressed by services and interventions. The report, Cancer Care for the Whole Patient: Meeting Psychosocial Health Needs, also acknowledged that appropriate psychosocial care is the “exception rather than the rule in cancer care today,” and a study by the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) bore this out.

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