Best Practice|Articles in Press

Improving Nursing Knowledge and Patient Education about Aprepitant's Effects on Hormonal Contraception: A Performance Improvement Project

Published:January 02, 2023DOI:



      The purpose of this project was to improve the consistency of verbal and written discharge instructions for women of childbearing age (13-55 years) taking hormonal contraceptives who receive aprepitant perioperatively, to address the need to use a secondary form of birth control for 28 days, as well as to increase the knowledge and confidence of Registered Nurses when providing discharge instructions.


      This quality improvement project used a pre/post design to evaluate two separate groups of patients and registered nurses.


      The patient sample consisted of 30 total women of childbearing age who received aprepitant during the perioperative period (15 pre and 15 post). The PACU nurse sample included 15 ambulatory surgery center nurses and 58 main hospital nurses for a combined sample of 73 PACU nurses. The PACU nurses were provided with educational in-service regarding information about aprepitant and its drug interactions. PACU nurses were additionally instructed to provide patient discharge instructions using both a written and verbal format. Patients were called postoperatively before and after both the written after visit summary (AVS) changes and the PACU nurse in-services, PACU nurses were evaluated on their knowledge, confidence, and frequency of discharge teaching before and after their educational in-service. The PACU nurses were surveyed 90 days after the intervention to assess their long-term knowledge retention.


      There was a significant increase in nurse knowledge about aprepitant from preimplementation to postimplementation (61.39% vs 81.95%, P < .001). Nursing knowledge showed a non-significant decline at 90-days postimplementation (81.95% vs 73.68%, P = .096) although remained significantly higher than preimplementation scores (73.68% vs 61.39%, P = .003). There was an overall 33.3% increase in the percentage of patients who were able to recall receiving aprepitant and the need to use a secondary form of birth control when comparing the preintervention group to the postintervention group (26.7% vs 60%, P = .123).


      The findings suggest that providing a standardized presentation about aprepitant may improve the PACU nurses’ ability to verbalize key information about aprepitant, including the need for patients to use a secondary form of birth control. This increase in nursing knowledge and confidence, along with improved written discharge instructions, may have led to improved patient comprehension of aprepitant discharge education. Additionally, there was an increase in the percentage of patients who were able to recall the need to use a secondary form birth control for 28 days, to reduce the likelihood of an unintentional pregnancy.


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