Oncological patient management on the territory: The results of a survey in the north-west of Italy

Main Article Content

Keywords

Community pharmacy, Oncological patients, Oncological therapies, Disease acceptance, Survey, Patients management

Abstract

Objective: To investigate the role of community pharmacists in the therapeutic process of oncological patients and to assess these patients’ state of acceptance of their disease and their relationship with their therapies, we performed a survey in some oncological clinics in Turin (north-west of Italy). Methods: The survey was carried out in a three months’ period by means of a questionnaire. The questionnaire was administered on paper to oncological patients that attended 5 oncological clinics in Turin. The questionnaire was self-administered. Results: 266 patients filled out the questionnaire. More than half of patients reported that their cancer diagnosis interfered with normal life very much or extremely and almost 70% of patients reported that they were accepting of what happened and were trying to fight back. 65% of patients answered that it is important or very important that pharmacists are aware of their health status. About 3 out of 4 patients thought that pharmacists giving information on medicines purchased and on how to use them is important or very important and that it is important to receive information concerning health and the effects of medication taken. Conclusion: Our study underlines the role of territorial health units in the management of oncological patients. It can be said that the community pharmacy is certainly a channel of election, not only in cancer prevention but also in the management of those patients who have already been diagnosed with cancer. More comprehensive and specific pharmacist training is necessary for the management of this type of patient. Furthermore, it is necessary to improve the awareness of this issue in community pharmacists at the local and national levels by creating a network of qualified pharmacies developed in collaboration with oncologists, GPs, dermatologists, psychologists and cosmetics companies.

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