Caregiver survey results related to handling of oral chemotherapy for pediatric patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
BACKGROUND: Oral chemotherapy is commonly administered in the home; however, there may be harmful effects on healthy individuals who handle these medications. Caregivers of pediatric patients were surveyed to establish educational needs for safe handling of oral chemotherapy agents.
METHODS: An 11-question self-report survey was developed to characterize handling practices for patients in maintenance therapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia related to caregiver education, use of protective gear, preparation, and disposal of oral chemotherapy agents.
RESULTS: Fifty questionnaires were collected. Seventy-two percent of responders reported receiving instruction on safe handling of oral chemotherapy. Ninety percent of responders reported that they did not utilize protective gear during preparation of oral chemotherapy. Although tablet crushers were designated for use with oral chemotherapy by 61% of responders, 22% used the same device to crush other nonchemotherapy medications. The majority of responders disposed of medication waste with regular garbage or poured the remainder down the sink.
CONCLUSIONS: Caregiver survey responses demonstrated that personal safeguards were not routinely utilized by pediatric caregivers while handling oral chemotherapy. Future educational efforts should be directed to improve caregiver understanding related to the use of protective equipment, designation of supplies for use with chemotherapy agents, and safe disposal.
Published In/Presented At
Held, K., Ryan, R., Champion, J. M., August, K., & Radhi, M. A. (2013). Caregiver survey results related to handling of oral chemotherapy for pediatric patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Journal of pediatric hematology/oncology, 35(6), e249–e253. https://doi.org/10.1097/MPH.0b013e31827e4a73
Medicine and Health Sciences | Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Department of Pharmacy, Department of Pediatrics