Publication Abstract

Authors: Walsh KE, Biggins C, Blasko D, Christiansen SM, Fischer SH, Keuker C, Klugman R, Mazor KM

Title: Home medication support for childhood cancer: family-centered design and testing.

Journal: J Oncol Pract 10(6):373-6

Date: 2014 Nov

Abstract: PURPOSE: Errors in the use of medications at home by children with cancer are common, and interventions to support correct use are needed. We sought to (1) engage stakeholders in the design and development of an intervention to prevent errors in home medication use, and (2) evaluate the acceptability and usefulness of the intervention. METHODS: We convened a multidisciplinary team of parents, clinicians, technology experts, and researchers to develop an intervention using a two-step user-centered design process. First, parents and oncologists provided input on the design. Second, a parent panel and two oncology nurses refined draft materials. In a feasibility study, we used questionnaires to assess usefulness and acceptability. Medication error rates were assessed via monthly telephone interviews with parents. RESULTS: We successfully partnered with parents, clinicians, and IT experts to develop Home Medication Support (HoMeS), a family-centered Web-based intervention. HoMeS includes a medication calendar with decision support, a communication tool, adverse effect information, a metric conversion chart, and other information. The 15 families in the feasibility study gave HoMeS high ratings for acceptability and usefulness. Half recorded information on the calendar to indicate to other caregivers that doses were given; 34% brought it to the clinic to communicate with their clinician about home medication use. There was no change in the rate of medication errors in this feasibility study. CONCLUSION: We created and tested a stakeholder-designed, Web-based intervention to support home chemotherapy use, which parents rated highly. This tool may prevent serious medication errors in a larger study.