IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSES

As the clinician on the front lines of cancer care, oncology nurses are the predominant health care providers for managing CIPN symptoms. Consults with physical or occupational therapists before discharge can identify and explain the patient’s limitations. The time can also be used to teach the patient muscle-strengthening exercises that can be performed in the hospital as well as at home.

“Nurses play an incredibly significant role in this process. As the first-line providers for a lot of these patients, nurses must be vigilant in assessing patients with known CIPN for their risk of falling and other injuries. Additionally, nurses must be educated and aware of CIPN in general, as early diagnosis and interventions may help manage mobility impairments down the line,” explained Ms Autissier.

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Even though research into pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic resolutions for CIPN has been disappointing, numerous novel prevention and treatment methods are being actively studied. Ms Autissier suggested that as new research becomes available, oncology nurses should seek to keep themselves aware of the most promising methods for mitigating the effects of CIPN.


John Schieszer is a medical reporter based in Seattle, Washington.


Reference

Autissier E. Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy: association with increased risk of falls and injuries. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2019;23(4):405-410.