Development of a Patient Education Newsletter in an Oncology Pharmacy Practice


  • Elizabeth R. Pitman University of Alberta
  • Angela D. Tennant Cross Cancer Institute, Alberta Cancer Board




Little has been written about the role of patient education newsletters in health care and even less about their use in pharmacy practice. A patient education newsletter has the potential to fulfill several roles. It can allow direct communication with patients, family members, and others in the community.1 It is an efficient means of communication, in that patients often have similar questions and concerns.1,2 A newsletter may also facilitate communication by stimulating patients to discuss issues that they might not otherwise mention.1 Lastly, patient newsletters are a much-needed source of accurate and easy-to-understand health information in the community.1 In response to the results of a patient survey,3 the Cross Cancer Institute Pharmacy Department of the Alberta Cancer Board developed a patient education newsletter. The survey, which was circulated at each of the 15 pharmacies of the Alberta Cancer Board (2 tertiary sites in Edmonton and Calgary and 13 community cancer centres), indicated which services were desired by patients of the Pharmacy Department. Seventy-eight percent of the 114 respondents felt that a newsletter would be useful to them; this was the highest-rated of 13 services proposed in the survey. The objective of this project was to develop 12 monthly newsletters on pharmacy-related topics of interest to cancer patients.


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Pharmacy Practice / Pratique pharmaceutique