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Health SA Gesondheid (Online)

versão On-line ISSN 2071-9736
versão impressa ISSN 1025-9848

Health SA Gesondheid (Online) vol.17 no.1 Cape Town  2012




Incidence, severity and management of cancer chemotherapy related oral mucositis in Eastern Cape and Western Cape



Johanna E. MareeI; Margaretha J. CombrinkII; Tanya de LangeII; Andrea S. ToerienII; Minette BedekerII

IDepartment of Nursing Education, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
IIAdelaide Tambo School of Nursing Science, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa





This study explored the incidence, duration and severity of oral mucositis in patients receiving chemotherapy in the Eastern and Western Cape, how this symptom was managed and whether the patients considered the management to be effective. An exploratory, contextual, quantitative survey was conducted. The sampling method was convenience. One hundred and sixty patients were recruited, with 106, (66.3%) participating. Data were collected by means of self-reports, using a self-administered questionnaire. Oral mucositis was a common problem, with 71.7% (n = 76) reporting to have had mucositis. Pain was not effectively managed, as 69.8% (n = 53) of respondents experienced pain whilst only 17.1% (n = 13) reported to have used analgesics. More than half of the respondents used prescribed mouth and throat preparations, whilst 28.9% (n = 22) used non-prescribed self-care measures including potentially harmful products. A significant difference was found between using non-prescribed self-care measures and the duration of oral mucositis (χ2 = 0.81; p = 0.01). The reported grade of mucositis did not influence the use of non-prescribed self-care measures, whilst the more pain patients experienced the less inclined they were to use these measures. The management of oral mucositis remains a challenge. Failure to palliate this distressing symptom can lead to the use of potentially harmful self-care measures.


Die studie het die insidensie, tydsduur en intensiteit van orale mukositis in Oos en Wes Kaapse pasiënte wat kankerchemoterapie ontvang verken asook hoe hierdie simptoom hanteer is en die sukses hiervan volgens die pasiënte. 'n Kwantitatiewe, ekploratiewe, kontekstuele opname is onderneem. 'n Gerieflikheidsteekproef is gebruik om die deelnemers te verkry. Een hondered en sestig persone is genader en 66.3% (n = 106) het aan die studie deelgeneem. Die datainsamelingsmetode was self-rapportering met behulp van 'n vraelys en beskrywende statistiek is gebruik om die data te verwerk. Orale mukositis was 'n algemene probleem, aangesien 71.7% (n = 76) van die respondente die simptoom ondervind het. Pyn was nie goed beheer nie, aangesien 69.8% (n = 53) pyn ondervind het terwyl slegs 17.1% (n = 13) aangedui het dat hulle analgetika gebruik het. Meer as die helfte van die respondente het voorgeskrewe mond en keel preparate gebruik, terwyl 28.9% (n = 22) self gemedikeer het wat potensiële nadelige preparate ingesluit het. 'n Beduidende verskil is tussen die gebruik van nie voorgeskrewe medikasie en die duur van mukositis bevind (χ2 = 0.81; p = 0.01). Die graad van die mukositis het nie die gebruik van die self-medikasie beinvloed nie. Hoe meer pyn ondervind is, hoe minder was die neiging om die mukositis self te behandel. Die hantering van orale mukositis bly 'n uitdaging. Die onsuksesvolle palliasie van hierdie simptoom kan tot die gebruik van potensieel nadelige self-sorg maatreëls lei.



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Johanna Maree
7 York Road
Park Town 2194
South Africa

Received: 14 Oct. 2011
Accepted: 24 June 2012
Published: 04 Oct. 2012

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