The following article features coverage from the 2017 Oncology Nursing Society’s Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado. Click here to read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor‘s conference coverage.            

Hypersensitivity reactions in patients receiving chemotherapy are rare, but when they occur they can be fatal. Research that will be presented at the Oncology Nursing Society’s (ONS) 42nd Annual Congress sought inform oncology nurses about hypersensitivity reactions and increase their confidence in identifying and managing this type of reaction should it occur.

Suzie Allen, MSN, APRN, AGCNS-BC, AOCNS, OCN, of Emory University Hospital Midtown in Atlanta, Georgia, and colleagues, established a web-based educational module and case study with simulation that utilized the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) quality improvement framework. Participants completed a pretest and posttest to gauge their knowledge via multiple choice questions and a Likert scale was used to evaluate presimulation and postsimulation confidence. Their study found that nursing knowledge increased from 66.5% pretest to 92.5% posttest. Similarly, nursing confidence improved from 67% before the case study with simulation to 100% post case study with simulation. Furthermore, the nurses indicated their anxiety levels in regards to handling a hypersensitive reaction dropped from 76% before simulation to 22% after simulation.

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The researchers found that most of the oncology nurses who participated in the 2-phase educational module stated that they felt strongly that they knew the indicators related to a hypersensitivity reaction (94%) and all participants felt that the case study and simulation would improve their ability to provide care to patients receiving chemotherapy who experience a hypersensitivity reaction.

“Unit-based simulation can be an effective educational intervention to deliver knowledge and allow oncology nursing staff to practice identification and management of high risk, low exposure events such as hypersensitivity reactions to infusional chemotherapy,” the researchers concluded.

Ms Allen will be presenting this research on Thursday, May 4, 2017, at 2:45 PM in the Mile High Ballroom 4 A-C at the Denver Colorado Convention Center.

Read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor‘s coverage of the 2017 Oncology Nursing Society’s Annual Conference by visiting the conference page.


1 .Allen S, Friend, P. Using simulation to enhance nursing knowledge and confidence for hypersensitivity reactions to chemotherapy [Abstract 32]. 2017 Oncology Nursing Society Annual Congress; May 4-7, 2017; Denver, CO.