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Open Access Article

Oncology Nurses' Awareness of Cognitive Impairment Secondary to Chemotherapy

Jamie S. Myers
Cynthia Teel
CJON 2008, 12(5), 725-729 DOI: 10.1188/08.CJON.725-729

The purpose of this cross-sectional, descriptive pilot study was to collect frequency data for oncology nurses' awareness of cognitive impairment (CI) secondary to chemotherapy, practice patterns related to assessment and education of patients and families about CI, and access to related educational materials. A convenience sample of 34 RNs was used in conjunction with a local Oncology Nursing Society chapter meeting. An 18-item survey was developed and piloted to collect data and demographic information from participants. Participants (100%) acknowledged awareness of chemotherapy-related CI. Most (94%) had attended educational programming on the topic and agreed that their patients had mentioned CI. Only 38% of participants assessed patients for CI and 44% educated patients and families on the topic. All nurses agreed that CI had some impact on patients' ability to perform activities of daily living and that CI caused at least some degree of distress. Most participants (71%) did not have access to related patient and family educational tools. The study provided support for the development of educational programs related to appropriate patient assessment and the development and distribution of related patient and family educational tools.

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