An Emerging Role of Pharmacist in Pre-chemotherapy Counseling Among Breast Cancer Patients

Author(s): C. C. Dang, M. Amiruddin, S. S. Lai, C. F. Low and S. Y. Chan*
Department of Pharmacy, General Hospital of Melaka, Jalan Mufti Hj. Khalil 75400 Melaka, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 11800 Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia

Correspondence Address:
School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 11800 Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia E-mail: [email protected]

The understanding of adult patients receiving cancer chemotherapy of their regimen is important for better control of chemotherapy-related side effects. Often, patients forget, misunderstand or unsatisfied with the information received. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of pharmacist-led pre-chemotherapy counseling on the knowledge of chemotherapy treated breast cancer patients. It is a randomized and prospective study where patients were randomly distributed into intervention group who received pharmacist-led pre-chemotherapy counseling and control group who did not receive pharmacist-led pre-chemotherapy counseling. Knowledge assessments and perception of the patients were carried out after pharmacist-led pre-chemotherapy counseling in both intervention and control group using a structured validated questionnaire. Overall, 38 out of 40 patients completed the study with a 97% response rate. Significant improvement in the understanding of chemotherapy regimen and its side-effects was observed in the intervention group as compared to the control group. Besides, patients counseled by pharmacists were able to recall back the information even at the sixth cycle of the chemotherapy regimen compared to the control group. Majority of the breast cancer patients agreed that pharmacist-led pre-chemotherapy counseling was effective. This study suggests that pharmacist-led pre-chemotherapy counseling improves patient knowledge and understanding of the chemotherapy regimen received.

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