Health information about chemotherapy side-effects for patients with leukemia at an oncology ward: Do nurses still lead at the frontline?

Amboto Justina N, Amakali Kristofina


Chemotherapy is the universal treatment for leukemia, a common type of cancer that involves abnormal production of immature leucocytes (white blood cells). As with any medicine, chemotherapy is also associated with the side-effects. The knowledge about the side-effects of chemotherapy helps patients to better manage them, adapt to chemotherapy and thereby enhances treatment outcomes. Therefore, a descriptive cross sectional study was conducted at the Windhoek Central Hospital oncology ward to assess and describe the knowledge about side-effects of chemotherapy among adult male and female patients with leukemia and to determine if nurses provide health education to patients. The data were collected from 21 participants representing a 91% response rate of the study population. The findings indicated that the most known side-effects were the loss of hair (48%) and vomiting (38%). Although a significant percentage (62%) of patients knew about the side-effects of chemotherapy, 60% of the patients received their information from the physicians. The study therefore concluded that nurses at oncology wards seem not being proactive to provide health information to patients. Recommendations were made for the nurses to increase their participation in providing health education to patients.

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Clinical Nursing Studies
ISSN 2324-7940(Print)   ISSN 2324-7959(Online)

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