Welcome to the March 2019 issue of the SIOG Nursing & Allied Health newsletter!

With this newsletter the governance group of the SIOG Nursing & Allied Health (NAH) Interest Group would like to inform you of what’s going on in the field of geriatric oncology related to nursing and allied health.
This newsletter appears quarterly (March, June, September, December) and includes some general information, a special topics section, and a column to meet and greet (new) members and highlight their work and research. A short report on past events relevant for nurses and allied health professionals is also included. An overview of upcoming events is linked to the SIOG website.
As always, you can contact the SIOG NAH Interest Group leadership with your ideas and contributions for the newsletter or for more information by sending an email through the Head Office.

Enjoy this March issue!


In February we were delighted to have our first SIOG NAH webinar and now we are happy to announce that there will be several new activities and initiatives coming up for the Nursing & Allied Health (NAH) community. Our first SIOG NAH Forum will be held on April 9 and the second SIOG NAH webinar will be held on May 22. More information can be found in this newsletter (see SIOG NAH events). A report of the first SIOG NAH webinar is also added in this newsletter.

Cancer rehabilitation for Older Adults with Cancer

Written by Mackenzi Pergolotti, PhD OTR/L1,2,3 and Kelley Covington, MS, PhD student1,2

ReVital Cancer Rehabilitation, Select Medical; Colorado State University, Department of Occupational Therapy; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of Occupational Science and Therapy

Cancer and cancer treatment can have short- and long-term impacts on participation in life roles and quality of life. Older adults with cancer, compared to those without cancer, are more likely to report difficulties with activities of daily living (i.e., dressing, bathing and grooming),1,2 and mobility limitations, such as getting up and down from a chair (or on and off the toilet), which may contribute to higher likelihood of falls in this population. A recent study by Mohile et al., showed older adults with cancer have up to 15-20% elevated risk of falls compared to the general aging population.3 In addition, up to one third of older adults with cancer can face limitations in life roles (e.g. being a grandmother, caregiver, brother, leisure activities and working). <More>

Save the date: SIOG NAH Forum: Wed. April 9 - 10:00 -11:00am EST

The SIOG Nursing & Allied Health (NAH) Interest Group aims at creating a platform of NAH professionals in which international collaborations can be established.

We would like to encourage SIOG NAH members who are interested to participate in our first SIOG NAH Forum on April 9, 2019, at 10:00 -11:00 am Eastern Time.

Please contact us if there are topics you would like to add to the agenda items of the meeting: cindy.kenis@uzleuven.be or martine.puts@utoronto.ca

<Click here to access the details to join the call>

SIOG NAH webinar on Optimizing psychosocial care of older adults with cancer

SAVE THE DATE: Wednesday, May 22, at 12:00 -1:00 pm Eastern Time

Lora Rhodes, LCSW
Lora is a senior social worker at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. She received her BS in psychology from Penn State University and MSW from Rutgers University. In her current role, she provides psychosocial support in the multidisciplinary senior adult oncology, head and neck cancer, and cancer genetics clinics, and is a member of the lung and head and neck cancer clinical teams.  Prior to her current position, she worked in continuing medical education, developing education programs for physicians, nurses, and social workers. A social worker for over 25 years, she has presented extensively, both locally and nationally, on psychosocial issues facing individuals with cancer.

SIOG NAH webinar on Polypharmacy 101: Targeting the Basics

Report written by Dr. Ginah Nightingale

This webinar took place on Wednesday, February, 27, 2019. Listen to the recording.

Polypharmacy webinar summary: Polypharmacy is a significant public health problem that particularly affects older adults, the largest consumers of medications. A systematic review identified 138 definitions of polypharmacy and found that 80% of these definitions used the numerical definition of 5 or more daily medications; only 6.4% of articles classified the distinction between appropriate and inappropriate polypharmacy.1 ‘Inappropriate’ polypharmacy largely refers to medications lacking evidence-based indications, medications with treatment risks that outweigh benefits, medications that are significantly associated with adverse drug reactions or medications that may potentially interact with other medications and/or disease states. <More>

Outpatient Oncology Nurses Online survey

Written by Schroder Sattar RN PhD & Kristen Haase RN PhD,
College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan, Canada

Falls are a concern in older adults with cancer. A short online survey has been initiated to explore outpatient oncology nurses’ opinions concerning fall screening in older patients, and whether you would welcome the idea of routine fall screening in the outpatient oncology setting.  Your input is important!  Please take a moment to complete this survey via the link below:

Please feel free to share this link with anyone who might be interested.

If you have questions about the survey, please contact Dr. Schroder Sattar at schroder.sattar@usask.ca

Member Profile

Lien Peeters (Belgium)
I am Lien, a registered, geriatric nurse at the University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium. For 3.5 years I’ve worked parttime at the geriatric hospitalization unit and parttime at the geriatric consultation team. During my nursing studies I’ve always been interested in oncology, but due to several internship within geriatric care, I’ve chosen for the geriatric path.

Since January 2019, I’ve started as a PhD student within the field of geriatric oncology. When I saw the job offer in this field, I saw this as an unique opportunity to combine best of both worlds.

Research (November 2018 – January 2019)

List of publications related to the care for older persons with cancer by SIOG Nursing and Allied Health members (November 2018 – January 2019):

List of publications:

  1. Gawryszuk A, Bijl HP, Holwerda M, Halmos GB, Wedman J, Witjes MJH, et al. Functional Swallowing Units (FSUs) as organs-at-risk for radiotherapy. PART 2: Advanced delineation guidelines for FSUs. Radiother Oncol. 2019;130:68-74.
  2. Gawryszuk A, Bijl HP, Holwerda M, Halmos GB, Wedman J, Witjes MJH, et al. Functional Swallowing Units (FSUs) as organs-at-risk for radiotherapy. PART 1: Physiology and anatomy. Radiother Oncol. 2019;130:62-7.
  3. Goldberg JI, Burhenn PS, Ginex PK. Nursing Education: Review of Assessment, Clinical Care, and Implications for Practice Regarding Older Adult Patients With Cancer. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2018;22(6):19-25.
  4. <More>

Save the date: SIOG 2019 Annual Conference - Geneva

Future events

An overview of future SIOG and other events is published on the SIOG website.

You can find all issues of the SIOG NAH newsletter online and on our Facebook page (SIOG Nursing & Allied Health Interest Group).