The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation commemorates the 10-year anniversary of the Preventing Infections in Cancer Patients (PICP) program by launching new resources that provide continued and improved support to patients with cancer undergoing chemotherapy. The new educational materials include a public service announcement and a virtual health-care provider tool in English and Spanish: TINA (Talking About Infection and Neutropenia Awareness).
Led by the CDC and the CDC Foundation, with financial support from Amgen Oncology, this educational program was developed to help lower the risk of infection during chemotherapy by providing resources to patients, caregivers, and oncology providers about the serious side effect of neutropenia. During chemotherapy, a low white blood cell count can lead to infections, treatment delays, hospitalization, and sometimes death. According to CDC data, about 650,000 patients with cancer receive chemotherapy in an outpatient oncology clinic in the United States each year, and more than 100,000 are hospitalized because of this side effect.
TINA is an innovative, interactive, and evidence-based online tool that uses the power of gaming technology to create an engaging and educational experience with a virtual physician. TINA provides a personalized learning experience in both English and Spanish for patients and a role-playing and training opportunity in English for providers to develop best practices for communicating with their patients. Usage data collected show that patients who complete TINA have a greater understanding and comfort with the risks of neutropenia and as well as what they can do to prevent infections.