The following article features coverage from the 2018 Oncology Nursing Society’s Annual Conference in Washington, DC. Click here to read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor‘s conference coverage. 

WASHINGTON, DC — The Electronic Self-Report Assessment-Cancer (ESRA-C) may help to preserve physical functioning among patients with cancer receiving peripheral neuropathy inducing chemotherapy, according to an oral presentation given at the 2018 Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Annual Congress. 

Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) leads to decreased quality of life, decreased ability to work, withdrawing from effective treatment, and increased cost of care. Robert Knoerl, PhD, RN, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, said that “despite the known negative effects of CIPN on physical function, CIPN is currently underassessed and -managed in practice,” leading clinical staffto develop interventions that would improve CIPN-associated outcomes.

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For this prospective study, researchers randomly assigned 219 patients scheduled to receive platinum and/or taxane-based chemotherapy to routine electronic symptom screening or to the ESRA-C — a web-based assessment and self-care intervention program previously noted to decrease symptom distress during cancer treatment — at comprehensive cancer centers in Boston and Seattle. 

Patients completed assessments before and after neurotoxic chemotherapy that evaluated physical function, sensory/motor CIPN, insomnia, depression, pain intensity, and fatigue. 

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Results showed that patients who were assigned to the ESRA-C arm had significantly improved physical function and depression outcomes compared to patients in the electronic symptom assessment arm by the end of the study; however, no significant differences were observed for the other outcomes between the 2 treatment groups. 

Knoerl concluded saying that “future research is needed to develop and test interventions that support the early identification and management of CIPN symptoms in practice.”


Knoerl R, Berry D. Exploring the efficacy of an electronic symptom assessment and self-care intervention to improve physical function in individuals receiving taxane and platinum-based chemotherapy. Oral presentation at: ONS 43rd Annual Congress; May 17-20, 2018; Washington, DC.