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Using Tools and Technology to Promote Education and Adherence to Oral Agents for Cancer

Peggy S. Burhenn
Josephine Smudde
CJON 2015, 19(3), 53-59 DOI: 10.1188/15.S1.CJON.53-59

Background: The use of oral agents for cancer (OACs) is increasing, and oncology nurses are in an ideal position to educate patients about them and suggest methods to improve adherence. Once an OAC is ordered, the administration is the responsibility of the patient. Oncology nurses can use tools and technology to assist with education, which may promote adherence, and suggest reminder tools that can be used. Many electronic tools have been developed, such as smartphone applications, text messaging, electronic alarms, and glowing pill bottles.

Objectives: The researchers reviewed electronic devices, as well as traditional methods such as calendars and pillboxes, that can assist patients in remembering to take the medication they are administering at home.

Methods: A literature search was compiled and websites were searched for patient education tools, reminder tools (electronic and manual), and smartphone applications. The project was part of the Oncology Nursing Society Putting Evidence Into Practice effort on oral adherence.

Findings: Education alone is insufficient to promote adherence to oral medication regimens. Multicomponent interventions have demonstrated improved adherence, and tools and technology directed at improving adherence to oral agents can be used. The researchers found multiple reminder aids to assist patients in adhering to an oral regimen. They are highlighted in this article.

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