Nurse-Delivered Telephone Intervention to Reduce Oral Mucositis and Prevent Dehydration

Tracy A. Ruegg, Janice M. Morse, Raphael L. Yechieli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PROBLEM STATEMENT: This study evaluates the feasibility of a nurse-delivered telephone intervention to reduce oral mucositis severity and prevent dehydration in patients with lung or head and neck cancer undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy. DESIGN: This study used a two-phase, qualitatively driven, mixed-methods descriptive design. DATA SOURCES: 11 participants were recruited from an academic cancer center in southern Florida. Participants received symptom management education followed by twice-weekly tailored nurse coaching telephone calls. ANALYSIS: Questionnaires measuring symptom severity, health-related quality of life, perceived self-efficacy, and symptom self-management were administered at four data points. Data on unscheduled medical visits were collected. Guided interviews were conducted four weeks post-treatment and analyzed qualitatively using content analysis. FINDINGS: Participants found the intervention to be acceptable. Oral mucositis symptom severity was minimized, and dehydration was avoided. The intervention enabled symptom self-management and improved perceived self-efficacy. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Emotional support provided by the nurse was crucial, exemplifying improvement over an automated system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-256
Number of pages15
JournalOncology nursing forum
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021


  • dehydration
  • oral mucositis
  • pilot study
  • symptom management
  • telephone intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology(nursing)


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