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Cancer is a disease that requires long term treatment and intensive monitoring. There are several methods to manage cancer but most cases are treated with chemotherapy. Patients who receive chemotherapy should receive advice on side effect management and proper self-care to properly cope with drug related problems and ultimately obtain the maximum benefits from the treatment. The prospective descriptive study was designed to evaluate the outcome of chemotherapy counseling utilizing standard questionnaires by a pharmacist who participated in an oncology care team during December 2004 to March 2005. The study setting was a medical oncology patient care unit (5E ward), Srinagarind Hospital, Khon Kaen University, Thailand. Ninety-one cancer patients were assessed for eligibility and 82 (90.1%) were recruited in this study. The counseling by pharmacist took place three times before and after patient received chemotherapy at each visit. The patients were evaluated in terms of knowledge, satisfaction and frequency of side effects. The results demonstrated that patients had an improved knowledge score based on disease and chemotherapy, possible side effect of chemotherapy and self care behavior after receiving chemotherapy counseling by a pharmacist following three evaluation periods (p < 0.01). Satisfaction score also significant improved (4.8 of 5) after receiving intervention by a pharmacist (p < 0.01). As for the adverse event evaluation, gastrointestinal (GI) side effects such as anorexia were the most common adverse event (91.5%) found in the first evaluation period however GI side effects were reported to be less in degree and frequency at the second and third follow up period post counseling. In conclusion, the pharmacist intervention based on chemotherapy counseling improved knowledge and satisfaction in oncology inpatients and reduced adverse events following chemotherapy treatment. The results of the present study should be used to encourage the establishment of oncology pharmacy practice model. By utilizing this pharmaceutical care activity, pharmacists will be able to serve as valuable health care staffs who can ultimately improve the quality of oncology care in the future.
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