The need for community pharmacists in oncology outpatient care: a systematic review
OBJECTIVES To highlight the health-related quality of life scale scores for Saudi patients with different types of cancer, to get understanding and foundation for improvements. To suggest suitable plans for quality of life improvement based on study outcome. The role of oncology pharmacy will be stressed. METHODS A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted at a tertiary regional hospital using the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer QLQ-C30 questionnaire. Attendees were patients diagnosed with any type of cancer and eligible for active anticancer treatment and/or palliative care. RESULTS Quality of life was evaluated for 87 participants. Most of patients were aged between 51 and 60 years; and 50% had active treatment with chemotherapy. Patients seemed to perform well with respect to average scores in both the symptoms and the functional health status scales. The mean score for the global quality of life scale was 47.2 ± 27.1, while the range of mean scores for the five function subscales was 59.0 ± 27.1 to 81.6 ± 13.8, indicating average level of general wellbeing with above average to high level of functional health status, while >50% of the patients met the operational criterion having less severe symptoms. Outpatients generally had somewhat higher scores as compared to hospitalized patients. CONCLUSION The general quality of life seemed satisfactory, but there is still need to improve care. Based on results from other studies, oncology pharmacists' roles are essential to improve quality of life through treatment counseling, follow-up on drug support therapy, stress on patient's education through specific programs, review and update the local guidelines, and conduct more research.