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Nurse-Delivered Telephone Intervention to Reduce Oral Mucositis and Prevent Dehydration

Tracy A. Ruegg
Janice M. Morse
Raphael L. Yechieli
ONF 2021, 48(2), 242-256 DOI: 10.1188/21.ONF.242-256

Problem Statement: This study evaluates the feasibility of a nurse-delivered telephone intervention to reduce oral mucositis severity and prevent dehydration in patients with lung or head and neck cancer undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Design: This study used a two-phase, qualitatively driven, mixed-methods descriptive design.

Data Sources: 11 participants were recruited from an academic cancer center in southern Florida. Participants received symptom management education followed by twice-weekly tailored nurse coaching telephone calls.

Analysis: Questionnaires measuring symptom severity, health-related quality of life, perceived self-efficacy, and symptom self-management were administered at four data points. Data on unscheduled medical visits were collected. Guided interviews were conducted four weeks post-treatment and analyzed qualitatively using content analysis.

Findings: Participants found the intervention to be acceptable. Oral mucositis symptom severity was minimized, and dehydration was avoided. The intervention enabled symptom self-management and improved perceived self-efficacy.

Implications for Practice: Emotional support provided by the nurse was crucial, exemplifying improvement over an automated system.

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