An educational intervention at a large oncology center successfully increased nurses’ knowledge and comfort level regarding issues related to cytokine release syndrome (CRS), according to study results presented at the 2023 ONS Congress.
Following training, improvement was seen in nurses’ self-reported knowledge and confidence concerning onset of CRS, treatment modalities, and provision of patient education, explained poster presenter Rosalynn Ofel Sanchez Ruiz of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, New York.
To provide bedside nurses with information on the definition of CRS, clinical management, nursing interventions, and the signs and symptoms of CRS, researchers created a training module with multiple attendance options.
Nurses could attend presentations remotely or in person on individual floors of the oncology center. Hospital units where investigational immunotherapies are administered were prioritized.
After the presentation, nurses were given an opportunity to ask questions and also provided with a handout containing key information and resources on CRS. The handout was also emailed to the nurses and posted in nursing stations at the center.
An informal questionnaire was administered to measure nurses’ self-reported knowledge of CRS both before and after the educational intervention. Respondents were asked to indicate, on a Likert scale, their agreement with the following statements:
- I know when the typical onset of CRS is.
- If a patient were to ask me about CRS, I would feel comfortable providing patient education.
- I understand common treatment modalities in managing CRS.
- I know common symptoms of CRS.
- I would feel comfortable escalating signs and symptoms of CRS to my resources.
- I know what my resources are if I encounter CRS.
Post-intervention questionnaire results showed “strong improvement” across all categories investigated, Sanchez Ruiz said. For example, prior to the training, 60% of nurses strongly or slightly agreed that they knew when typical onset of CRS occurred. Following the training, this number increased to 100%.
Similarly, prior to the training, 60% of nurses strongly or slightly agreed that they would feel comfortable providing patient education on CRS. Following the training, this number increased to 92%.
In the final example Sanchez Ruiz provided, prior to the educational intervention, 60% of nurses strongly or slightly agreed that they understood common treatment modalities in managing CRS. After the intervention, this number increased to 100%.
“CRS education should be integrated into nursing education in centers providing immunotherapy, especially immunotherapy on clinical trials,” Sanchez Ruiz concluded. “A targeted approach to specific units that may be caring for these patients can improve the confidence of oncology nurses taking care of this patient population to promptly recognize CRS, escalate care, and provide key patient education.”
Sanchez Ruiz RO. Cytokine release syndrome: An educational intervention for oncology nurses. ONS Congress 2023. April 26-30, 2023. Abstract P190.