Antineoplastic Drug Exposure of Health Care Workers in an Ambulatory Oncology Setting

Faculty Researcher: Christopher R. Friese, RN, PhD, AOCN(R), Assistant Professor, University of Michigan School of Nursing

The overall objective of the proposed Pilot Research Training grant is to investigate exposures to antineoplastic drugs (ADs) among occupationally-exposed individuals sampled from four unique practice environments within the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. The proposed study extends the principal investigator’s program of research by integrating his longstanding interest in workplace characteristics with outcomes related to worker safety. In collaboration with an occupational health and safety researcher, he will explore the patterns and correlates of unintentional occupational antineoplastic drug exposure to health care workers in a large chemotherapy infusion center. The project has two specific aims. First, to characterize the hazards and quantify the levels of unintentional occupational antineoplastic drug exposure among workers in ambulatory oncology settings. Second, to identify workplace features associated with unintentional occupational antineoplastic drug exposure. Following completion of this pilot study, the research team will have robust preliminary data to support the development of an R01 application to examine these issues in a multi-site context. Further, the obtained data will inform the development and evaluation of evaluating interventions to reducing occupational exposures to antineoplastic drugs.


Publications resulting from this project:
Friese CR, McArdle C, Zhao T, Sun D, Spasojevic I, Polovich M, McCullagh MC. Antineoplastic Drug Exposure in an Ambulatory Setting: A Pilot Study. Cancer Nursing 2015;38(2):111-117. doi: 10.1097/NCC.0000000000000143. PMCID: 423248

Friese, C.R., McCullagh, M.C., & Sutcliffe, K. 2015. Handle with care: The known and unknown risks to nurses who handle hazardous drugs. American Nurse Today, 10, 40-41.[invited commentary]

Friese CR, Mendelsohn-Victor K, Wen B, Sun D, Sutcliffe K, Yang JJ, Ronis DL, McCullagh MC, Investigators DS. DEFENS – Drug Exposure Feedback and Education for Nurses’ Safety: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials. 2015;16(1):171. doi: 10.1186/s13063-015-0674-5. 4411718

He B, Mendelsohn-Victor K, McCullagh MC, Friese CR. Personal Protective Equipment Use and Hazardous Drug Spills Among Ambulatory Oncology Nurses. Oncology Nursing Forum. 2017;44(1):60-65. doi: 10.1188/17.onf.60-65. PMCID: PMC5225785.

Grants resulting from this project:
CDC/NIOSH. R01 OH010582 (PI:Friese). Randomized Controlled Trial to Improve Oncology Nurses’ Protective Equipment Use. 7/1/2014-6/30/2018

UM CCC Discover Fund. (PI: Friese). Supportive Care Quality in Ambulatory Oncology Settings. 2014-2015.


Research trainee’s current position:
Christopher R. Friese is currently a Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Michigan