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Active home-based cancer treatment

Authors Bordonaro S, Raiti F, Di Mari A, Lopiano C, Romano F, Pumo Vitalinda, Rametta Giuliano S, Margherita Iacono, Lanteri E, Puzzo E, Spada S, Tralongo P

Received 6 March 2012

Accepted for publication 20 March 2012

Published 19 June 2012 Volume 2012:5 Pages 137—143


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Sebastiano Bordonaro Fabio Raiti, Annamaria Di Mari, Calogera Lopiano, Fabrizio Romano, Vitalinda Pumo, Sebastiano Rametta Giuliano, Margherita Iacono, Eleonora Lanteri, Elena Puzzo, Sebastiano Spada, Paolo Tralongo

UOC Medical Oncology, RAO, ASP 8 Siracusa, Italy

Background: Active home-based treatment represents a new model of health care. Chronic treatment requires continuous access to facilities that provide cancer care, with considerable effort, particularly economic, on the part of patients and caregivers. Oral chemotherapy could be limited as a consequence of poor compliance and adherence, especially by elderly patients.
Methods: We selected 30 cancer patients referred to our department and treated with oral therapy (capecitabine, vinorelbine, imatinib, sunitinib, sorafenib, temozolomide, ibandronate). This pilot study of oral therapy in the patient’s home was undertaken by a doctor and two nurses with experience in clinical oncology. The instruments used were clinical diaries recording home visits, hospital visits, need for caregiver support, and a questionnaire specially developed by the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), known as the QLQ-C30 version 2.0, concerning the acceptability of oral treatment from the patient’s perspective.
Results: This program decreased the need to access cancer facilities by 98.1%, promoted better quality of life for patients, as reflected in increased EORTC QLQ-C30 scores over time, allowing for greater adherence to oral treatment as a result of control of drug administration outside the hospital. This model has allowed treatment of patients with difficult access to care (elderly, disabled or otherwise needed caregivers) that in the project represent the majority (78% of these).
Conclusions: This model of active home care improves quality of life and adherence with oral therapy, reduces the need to visit the hospital, and consequently decreases the number of lost hours of work on the part of carers. Management of the service by the professionals involved revealed excellent control of the process by nursing staff, with minimal visits involving doctors.

Keywords: cancer, treatment, home-based, quality of life, compliance

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