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CHAPEL HILL, NC – A UNC Lineberger program that brings a pharmacist/nurse team directly to oncology clinic patients for supportive care has achieved major reduction in symptoms such as pain and nausea and was featured in the current issue of Pharmacy Practice News.

The Supportive Care Consult Services program, led by Steve Bernard, MD, professor of medicine in the division of hematology/oncology, also reported their study findings at the 2010 meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. He explains, “Many of our patients in North Carolina live more than an hour away, and they already have to make a lot of visits to the hospital for their treatments. We wanted to try not to burden them with a lot of additional visits for symptom management, so we decided to go where the patients are.”

John Valgus, PharmD, and Sandi Jarr, CNS, RN, comprise the Supportive Care Consult Service team that meets with patients to conduct the consult. Next they develop an action plan, run the recommendation by the patient’s physician, and, if approved, implement the plan. Among the 89 patients seen in the first 18 months of the program, the most common issue was pain. Other issues were constipation, nausea, anxiety and spiritual concerns.

Valgus adds that “as far as we know, this is the only program of its kind, and we’re proud to offer it to our patients.”

Partial funding for this program was provided by the University Cancer Research Fund.

Abstracted from Pharmacy Practice News