Biosimilar Knowledge Among Oncology/Hematology Team Members in Colorado, USA: An Educational Initiative and Follow-Up Survey
No data exist regarding oncology/hematology team members’ knowledge of and views on biosimilars in Colorado, USA. Published research has suggested that health professionals may have a poor understanding of many issues related to biosimilars.
Our goal was to increase oncology/hematology team members’ knowledge of biosimilars and then use an anonymous online survey to assess the knowledge gained. We also aimed to examine oncology/hematology team members’ overall interest in the subject and their motivation to learn more about biosimilars in the future.
In phase I of the project, we developed printed materials covering many topics related to biosimilars, such as definition, regulation, and interchangeability, and the potential of biosimilars in optimal combination therapy for cancer. We distributed our brochures to each participating oncology/hematology office in Colorado. The oncology/hematology team members were then asked to complete the survey.
A total of 62 team members responded to our survey. Nearly three-quarters of participants were oncology nurses or oncology nurse practitioners. More than 90% of survey respondents identified correct answers about the definition, regulations, interchangeability, safety, cost issues, and use of biosimilars in oncology and in older patients with cancer. Overall, and compared with those who had low levels of interest and motivation, significantly more (p < 0.05) study participants were interested in the subject of biosimilars [57 (92%) vs. 5 (8%)], motivated to learn more about them [59 (95%) vs. 3 (5%)], and interested in sharing information about biosimilars with colleagues and patients [51 (82%) vs. 11 (18%)].
Our results demonstrate that oncology/hematology team members participating in our study became familiar with many important issues related to biosimilars. Many survey respondents were highly motivated to participate in future training focused on biosimilars, which should pave the way for new educational projects in the area.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
This study was determined as exempt by WIRB on 1 September 2017. The study was performed in accordance with the ethical standards of the Declaration of Helsinki. Participants received an information sheet explaining the purpose of our study, how the data would be used, and that the data would be anonymous before they began the online survey.
This study was supported by Pfizer Inc.
Conflict of interest
Dr. Rovshan Ismailov M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D. received funding from Pfizer Inc. to conduct this study and develop this manuscript. He has also received financial support for educational programs from Pfizer, Amgen, Abbvie, Genentech, Novartis, Santen, and Actelion. Dr. Zaytuna Khasanova M.D. has no conflicts of interest.
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