DOI: 10.1200/op.23.00777 ISSN: 2688-1527

Virtual Follow-Up in Patients Initiating Antineoplastic Treatment in the Ambulatory Setting

Lauren J. Chew, Danielle S. Urman, Kevin Maxwell, Archana Ajmera, Frederick Millard, Rana R. McKay
  • Oncology (nursing)
  • Health Policy
  • Oncology


Initiating antineoplastic therapy can be distressful and affect patient retention of treatment-related side effects and safety protocols. Return visits can range from 8 to 28 days after treatment, during which patients may develop treatment-related questions and toxicities. This study's objective is to evaluate how implementing a follow-up phone call 24-48 hours after initial antineoplastic infusion, compared with standard pretreatment education, affects patient satisfaction and education retention.


We conducted a single-center pilot study where patients who were literate, English-speaking, with genitourinary malignancies, initiating intravenous chemotherapy or immunotherapy were eligible. The primary end point was patient knowledge retention. Secondary end points included patient satisfaction. The Leuven's Questionnaire Patient Knowledge Tool, a validated, standardized tool, was used to evaluate patient knowledge retention, with a higher score indicating more retention. Telephone follow-up was initiated 24-48 hours after initial infusion, where Leuven's Questionnaire was used to assess patient knowledge. A nurse then reinforced treatment-related education, reviewed notification parameters, and coordinated appropriate follow-up. One week later, participants were sent a follow-up Leuven's Questionnaire and standardized patient satisfaction assessment.


Thirty-one patients with renal cell carcinoma, prostate, bladder, germ cell/testicular, or adrenal cancers were included in the study. Mean preintervention Leuven's Questionnaire score was 5.3 and mean postintervention score was 8.1 on a 1-10 scale ( P < .0001). Ninety-seven percent of patients reported improved satisfaction postintervention.


Proactive telephonic follow-up for oncology patients improves education retention, patient satisfaction, and has potential to improve patient safety and quality of care.

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