To optimize patient education, it is important to understand what healthcare professionals perceive to be ideal oncology medication education for patients to receive, and what they feel is their role and the role of others in its delivery. Education provided to patients is an important component of chemotherapy as it has been shown to benefit and positively impact patients who receive it. Educational interventions are often provided by multidisciplinary teams with the goal of improving patient care. However, few studies have explored the roles of healthcare professionals in delivering oncology medication education.
To explore the perspectives of healthcare professionals working in medical, gynaecological or hematological oncology to identify what they perceive to be optimal oncology medication education for patients.
Healthcare professionals (physicians, nurses and pharmacists) working in medical, gynaecological or hematological oncology at the Nova Scotia Health Authority, Central Zone were invited to participate in one-on-one, semi-structured interviews which were audio-recorded, transcribed and analyzed using thematic analysis.
Fifteen interviews, including five physicians, four nurses and six pharmacists were conducted from February to April 2018. Four major themes were identified: Delivery of oncology medication education, Facilitating the patient learning process, Multidisciplinary Approach and Understanding barriers to the healthcare professional in providing education.
The identified themes uncovered novel ideas about how healthcare professionals felt oncology medication education could ideally be delivered to patients, and supported findings in the literature. Although participants discussed barriers to their ability to deliver optimal education, they also identified ways in which they can facilitate patient learning, for example, through the reinforcement of education. Participants recognized the importance of increasing collaboration and communication with the multidisciplinary team. This research will inform the design of any new models for oncology medication education at the Nova Scotia Health Authority, Central Zone and potentially other sites.