UK Healthcare Professional Knowledge and Understanding of the Impact of Cancer Treatment Induced Oral Mucositis: A Delphi Consensus Study


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Latha Parvataneni1,Oona Tillotson1,Ian Smyth2,Ayse Ibrahim3,Rosie Bougoffa2,Michael Dobson4
1Colonis Pharma Ltd,2Mednet Ltd,3Mednet Consult,4Colonis Pharma Limited

Abstract

Background

Many patients undergoing treatment of cancer may experience oral mucositis (OM). Due to a lack of UK data, a Delphi consensus study was undertaken to determine the impact of OM upon the patient, the use of medicinal products/devices, and healthcare professional (HCP) knowledge, education and awareness of OM.

Method

Three rounds of questionnaires were sent to nine HCP oncology and OM experts. Successive questionnaires drew upon previous responses in order to reach consensus.

Results

OM was reported to have an impact on physical (88.9% agreement), psychological (88.9% agreement), social (77.8% agreement) and financial (66.7% agreement) factors for the patient.

20% of patients will require reduced cancer regimen dosage and/or treatment breaks due to OM. Educating patients on self-care, early detection and the importance of early reporting of symptoms could lead to less severe side effects and more complete cancer care (77.8% agreement).

Products indicated for prevention of OM are recommended for use in ~75% of patients undergoing cancer treatment (66.7% agreement). Evidence of benefit was reported to be the most important influencing factor in the decision to prescribe.

Products indicated for treatment of OM will be used in patients with mild–moderate OM for ~2-3 weeks (88.9% agreement) and in patients with severe OM for ~3 weeks. Clinical evidence was reported to be the most important influencing factor in the decision to prescribe.

There is insufficiency in HCP knowledge (66.7% agreement), awareness (88.9% agreement) and education on the assessment and grading of OM (88.9% agreement), with OM underestimated as a problem by HCPs (88.9% agreement).

Conclusion

OM is an underestimated problem in the UK, with a clear lack of both HCP and patient knowledge and understanding. Improved education and promotion in the area of OM could address these issues.

A Delphi study investigating the impact of OM from the patient perspective is currently ongoing.