Pharmaceutical intervention improves drug knowledge, reduces anxiety in patients with cancer
A recently launched pharmacist outpatient service has been shown to deepen understanding of the medications’ side effects and ease anxiety levels in patients undergoing monotherapy with oral anticancer agents, according to a Japan study.
Researchers obtained data on prescription recommendations from the drug management guidance records of 154 patients who consulted the pharmacist outpatient service between July 2013 and September 2015 to assess the role and usefulness of the said intervention. They also calculated the rates of prescription recommendation adherence.
A self-reported questionnaire was administered between April and August 2015 to 47 patients undergoing oral monotherapy with anticancer agents who were visiting the pharmacist outpatient service at the Ogaki Municipal Hospital in Japan.
A total of 235 cases received prescription recommendations, with a 94.9 percent total adherence rate (223/235 cases). Most prescription recommendations on supportive care were those for moisturizing agents (20.9 percent), analgesics (20.9 percent), steroid ointments (12.7 percent) and antihypertensive agents (10.8 percent).
There were significant changes seen for survey items 3 (knowing the side effects of the medication; p=0.0049), 8 (worrying about the side effects; p<0.0001) and 12 (interest in prescribed medicine; p=0.0164) when continued pharmaceutical intervention was provided.
The involvement of pharmacists is warranted for outpatients when quick feedback to physicians must be provided (eg, monitoring therapy with the oral anticoagulant warfarin or providing therapeutic support for patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy), according to researchers.