How Variable Is Our Delivery of Information? Approaches to Patient Education About Oral Chemotherapy in the Pediatric Oncology Clinic
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In pediatric patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, adherence to oral chemotherapy relies largely on a parent's comprehension of the drug's indication and administration guidelines. We assessed how pediatric oncology providers educate families about oral chemotherapy. We conducted a cross-sectional survey of 68 physicians and nurses from 9 institutions in the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Consortium. The inter-individual approach to patient education is variable and may consist of handouts, treatment calendars, and discussions. The extent of teaching often varies depending on a provider's subjective assessment of a family's needs. Twenty-five percent of providers suggested standardizing patient teaching. When developing educational models, care teams should consider approaches that (a) objectively identify families in need of extensive teaching, (b) designate allotted teaching time by nursing staff during clinic visits, and (c) maintain the variation and dynamism that informs a successful provider-patient relationship.
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