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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 178-187

Scalp cryotherapy: effects on patients receiving chemotherapy

Department of Medical, Surgical Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Hanan M Mohammed
Department of Medical, Surgical Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Ain Shams University, Cairo
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ENJ.ENJ_8_18

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Background Alopecia is a common adverse effect of chemotherapy treatment for cancer; for some patients, it results in complete hair loss. The effect of hair loss among patients remains an important nursing issue. Aim The aim of this study was to examine the effect of scalp cooling on the development of alopecia in female patients receiving cancer chemotherapy. Sample Fifty female patients with first-stage primary breast cancer fit for primary chemotherapy were randomly allocated to two equal groups using block randomization. The study group patients were to use the scalp cooling, whereas the control group patients did not use it. Design A randomized clinical trial design was used in this study. Sitting This study was conducted at the Surgical Oncology Department and Dermatology Clinic at Ain Shams University Specialized Hospital. Tools Data collection tools included demographic and clinical data sheet, modified WHO hair loss scale, self-reported hair loss scale, and hair re-growth scale. An instruction brochure for patients was prepared by the researchers. Results The results demonstrated protective effect of cooling as assessed by modified WHO hair loss scale, where at the end of follow-up, 92% of the study group patients had successful protection, compared with 64.0% in the control group (P=0.02). Moreover, by self-reported hair loss scale, 68.0% of the patients in the study group reported less hair loss not requiring a wig, compared with only 12.0% of those in the control group (P<0.001). Moreover, hair re-growth improved in the study group compared with the control group during the first and second month of follow-up (P=0.007 and 0.02, respectively). Conclusion It is concluded that scalp cooling provides significant successful protection from hair loss during cancer chemotherapy course, and for 2 months after completing the treatment. Recommendations It is recommended that scalp cooling should be initiated 15 min before infusion, maintained during, and for 30 min following completion of chemotherapy session. Further study of the long-term effect of scalp cooling on protection from alopecia, with psychological and clinical assessment is proposed.

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