Purpose: This study investigated the experience of palliative care physicians (PCPs) and their knowledge and recognition of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) and immune-related adverse events (irAEs) in clinical practice as well as the need to provide palliative care services for patients after ICI treatments. Methods: A cross-sectional survey with self-administered questionnaires was conducted between February and April 2020. A total of 759 questionnaires were sent to PCPs in Japan. The changes in the PCPs’ knowledge and recognition of ICIs and irAEs due to the increased experiences of treating patients after ICI treatments were analyzed. Results: Four hundred ninety-two responses (64.8%) were analyzed. Only 15.0% of respondents had no experience of patients after ICI treatments, while 53.9% had experience of more than six patients. On the other hand, 40% of respondents had no experience of patients with suspected irAEs, while only 13.4% had experience of more than six patients. Respondents with more experience of patients after ICI treatments or those with suspected irAEs had extensive knowledge of ICIs and irAEs, were more confident in treating these patients, and tended to consider irAEs as therapeutic indications. The majority of respondents required guidelines and efficient consultation systems with oncologists. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that PCPs with experience had extensive knowledge and confidence of ICIs and irAEs and tended to recognize irAEs as therapeutic indications. The establishment of a more intimate relationship between PCPs and oncologists is important for providing better treatment for these patients.
- Cross-sectional survey
- Immune checkpoint inhibitors
- Immune-related adverse events
- Palliative care physicians
ASJC Scopus subject areas