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Training program to improve cancer drug therapy safety

"An interprofessional education program with online modules, in-person interactive sessions, and simulation activities is a promising strategy to deliver cancer drug safety content to practicing oncology clinicians" Aebersold et al (2021).

Abstract:

Purpose: Drug therapy for cancer is a high-risk, high-volume clinical intervention that requires interprofessional teams. Given the complexity of anticancer drug therapy and safety concerns, an interdisciplinary team developed a novel training program for oncology registered nurses and pharmacists to improve cancer drug safety.

Methods: Participants completed preworkshop learning assessments and received access to web-based modules on six topics: hazardous drug handling, drug extravasation, hypersensitivity reaction management, sepsis recognition, immune checkpoint inhibitor toxicities, and oral oncolytic adherence. In a 7-hour workshop, participants applied module content in interactive exercises and high-fidelity simulations. Preworkshop and postworkshop questionnaires assessed changes in knowledge and confidence in each topic. Program satisfaction and changes to clinical practice or policies were assessed 3 months after the workshop.

Results: Two hundred ninety-two nurses and 82 pharmacists applied to participate, and 103 (35%) and 44 (54%) have participated, respectively. Long-term follow-up data were available on 133 (90%) participants. Change scores in confidence to meet program objectives increased between pre- and postworkshop (range of increase 0.6-0.8, P < .01). Knowledge scores increased significantly between pre- and postworkshop (average improvement of 3.2 points, P < .01). Overall program satisfaction was high (mean 5.0, standard deviation [0.2] on a five-point scale). Seventy-seven (60%) reported that they had made at least one clinical practice or institutional policy change at 3 months.

Conclusion: An interprofessional education program with online modules, in-person interactive sessions, and simulation activities is a promising strategy to deliver cancer drug safety content to practicing oncology clinicians.

Reference:

Aebersold ML, Kraft S, Farris KB, Scherdt M, Olsen M, Polovich M, Shelton BK, Montgomery GH, Friese CR. Evaluation of an Interprofessional Training Program to Improve Cancer Drug Therapy Safety. JCO Oncol Pract. 2021 Feb 12:OP2000816. doi: 10.1200/OP.20.00816. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33577351.