Neurotoxic Side Effects Early in the Oxaliplatin Treatment Period in Patients With Colorectal Cancer

Jenny Drott, RN, PhD; Hans Starkhammar, MD, PhD; Karin Kjellgren, RN, RNT, PhD; Carina Berterö, RNT, MScN, PhD


Purpose: To identify and describe experiences of patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) who have neurotoxic side effects early in the oxaliplatin treatment period, and how neurotoxicity affects their daily lives.

Participants & Setting: 10 patients with stage II–III CRC were included. All were treated with adjuvant oxaliplatin postoperatively and assessed neurotoxicity via a platform-independent mobile phone–based system. Patients were recruited from two hospitals in southern Sweden from November 2013 to August 2014.

Methodologic Approach: Qualitative interview study conducted through open-ended, face-to-face, qualitative interviews. Thematic analysis was used.

Findings: A main theme was identified: “Endure neurotoxic side effects.” This theme illuminated how patients adapt to manage daily life. Patients’ daily lives, as well as their psychosocial well-being, were affected. Patients changed their daily routines and reprioritized activities.

Implications for Nursing: Nurses have an obligation to communicate the importance of early detection of neurotoxicity. Mobile phone technology seems to be a valuable tool for monitoring patient-reported neurotoxicity to improve communication and supportive care.

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