Background The management of cancer treatment has changed considerably in recent years with the entry into the market of novel oral cancer agents. Although treatment at home improves patient compliance, in practise it’s difficult to assess the quality of treatment without the supervision of healthcare professionals.
Purpose To monitor patients at home and to assess the variables influencing adherence to treatment. We sought to educate, discuss and establish effective communication with patients in order to minimise the barriers between patients and physicians.
Materials and Methods From July 2012, hospital pharmacists have provided their haematology-oncology patients with a self-report medicines diary. Patients were asked to write the date, time, treatment dosage and concomitant treatments, as well as to describe their health status and report any side effects. Data were saved in a database created for the purpose. Treatment adherence was calculated as Medicines Possession Ratio according to the treatment indications in the patient diary.
Results From July 2012 to October 2012, a total of 261 patients were asked to participate in the study and to fill out a self-reported diary. 243 patients agreed to participate in the study, of these 86 completed and returned the self-report diaries (41%) to the hospital pharmacy. The percentage of adherence to treatment was significantly higher in those patients who completed the medicines diaries compared to those who did not use the medicines diary (0.99 vs. 0.88). The reported side effects indicated that medicines were well tolerated and did not cause discontinuation of treatment.
Conclusions The preliminary data of this patient-oriented research emphasises the importance of promoting dialogue in order to optimise home treatment. The hospital pharmacist plays a key role in promoting and improving adherence to treatment by analysing side effects and concomitant treatment and, in addition, by reinforcing patients’ awareness of the importance of following the prescription schedule correctly.
No conflict of interest.
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