3 barriers associated with apt use of oral chemotherapies
A recent survey has revealed three factors preventing the appropriate use of oral chemotherapies, and they are as follows: misunderstanding about the timing of drug with food, stopping drug without informing physicians and difficulty understanding labelling directions.
A total of 93 patients (51 percent female) taking oral chemotherapies with chronic myeloid leukaemia, renal cell carcinoma, breast cancer and colorectal cancer completed the survey. The participants were well-educated, with 69 percent (n=62) having completed some college, and mostly older than 50 years of age (n=54).
Of the patients, 30 percent reported forgetting to take their medication at least “sometimes.” Higher rates of forgetfulness in taking their oral chemotherapy were seen among younger patients (<50 vs ≥50 years; p=0.002), those with shorter treatment duration (<6 vs ≥6 months; p=0.03) or with chronic myeloid leukaemia (vs other diagnoses; p=0.015).
Twenty-one patients (23 percent) said they intentionally skipped their oral chemotherapies. Of these participants, eight (38 percent) failed to inform their physicians. There were 28 patients (41 percent) taking oral chemotherapy with significant food–drug effects who did not consider their last meal before taking their medication, and 55 (80 percent) had no understanding of such potential interactions.
In addition, 36 patients (39 percent) did not look at labelling directions, while 14 (15 percent) had a difficult time understanding such labels.
“A multipronged approach is needed to optimize communication of directions for optimal oral chemotherapy use,” the authors said, adding that appropriate use of oral chemotherapy is a challenge for both patients and clinicians.
A 30-question survey was created to determine the frequency and reasons for reducing or skipping doses, sources of information for oral chemotherapy use, perceived importance of food–drug effects, and ease of understanding labelling directions.