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Oral anticancer chemotherapy (OC) has been misperceived as being safer than intravenous chemotherapy, leading to its increased risk of improper handling and disposal. This survey study assessed the knowledge, practices and attitudes of pharmacists and patients regarding OC handling and disposal, gaps in knowledge and barriers to patient education. Methods

Surveys were developed based on literature review and pilot study validation results. Patients completed a 33-item paper or electronic survey whereas pharmacists completed a 38-item electronic survey. Descriptive statistics and Fisher’s exact test computed using the R Project were used for analyses. Results

Pharmacist group (16/25, 62.5%) and patient group (14/29, 48.3%) believed that the oral route is safer than IV. Average overall correct response rates for pharmacist and patient groups were 78.3% and 61.9%, respectively. Significant gaps in knowledge between groups were observed in three sections (p < 0.05). Common barriers to providing patient education were insufficient training (70.8%) and insufficient time (50%). Conclusion

Pharmacist and patient knowledge, awareness and practices of OC safe handling and disposal are suboptimal. Areas of knowledge gaps and barriers to patient education were identified. Enhanced supports are needed to empower pharmacists to assume an active role in patient education on safe handling and disposal of OC.


This article was originally published in Journal of Contemporary Pharmacy Practice, volume 70, issue 2, in 2022.


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