"Assessment of Neutropenia-Related Quality of Life in a Clinical Setting," available as a journal article and podcast, explores assessment strategies and recommendations for a questionnaire assessing patients’ neutropenia-related quality of life (QOL). The authors discuss how implementing a QOL screening questionnaire for neutropenia could help nurses identify at-risk patients and guide interventions that could have a positive influence on their treatment.
In "Neutropenia: State of the Knowledge," a two-part ONS white paper, the authors identify what currently is known and, importantly, not known about the most common dose-limiting toxicity of cancer chemotherapy: chemotherapy-induced neutropenia (CIN).
Patients can have multiple risk factors for developing neutropenia, including type of chemotherapy or radiation, doses, and administration schedule of the treatment regimen. Additionally, high dose density (administration of chemotherapy with less time between treatments), dose intensity (giving the maximum tolerable dose at each administration), and relative dose intensity (a percentage of the dose intensity that is given as a portion of the dose that is planned) also increase the potential for developing neutropenia. Other risk factors include the following.
Quality of life (QOL) is a broad term that reflects a patient’s overall sense of well-being and satisfaction with living (Ropka & Padilla, 2007). Studies demonstrate that the incidence, severity, and duration of other side effects associated with cancer treatment (e.g., vomiting, anorexia, fatigue) are higher when they occur in the presence of neutropenia, and that neutropenia occurring alone has a negative effect on patients’ willingness to continue treatment and their general QOL (Nirenberg, 2006).
This slideshow discusses evidence-based interventions for managing neutropenia.
View this brief slideshow on calculating the absolute neutrophil count, with directions and examples provided.