Nursing Education Modules on MDS Disease Management and Patient Education | Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation (AAMDSIF) Return to top.

Nursing Education Modules on MDS Disease Management and Patient Education

Introductory image: Sweet Older Couple Hug

Innovations in the diagnosis, risk stratification, and treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) provide hope for patients while creating challenges for their health care providers. Nurses play an integral role in providing patients with clear explanations, setting treatment expectations, and empowering them to be actively in their care decisions. 

The AA&MDSIF Nursing Modules have been designed to provide a convenient, comprehensive summary of MDS disease basics, treatment options, quality of life issues, and patient education and support.  Each nursing module includes an audio presentation by an oncology nurse with extensive experience treating MDS patients, along with slides and a reference bibliography.  Links to related resources are also provided.  A competency test and evaluation will be required to earn a certificate of completion. 

Module I:  Overview of Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS)

This module provides a comprehensive review of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), including:

  • MDS etiology/epidemiology
  • MDS pathology – presentation, disease overlap, diagnostic evaluation (laboratory indices, bone marrow findings, cytogenetics)
  • MDS classification – FAB/WHO, IPSS, IPSS-R
  • MDS prognostic classification

Faculty: Joan M. Latsko, DNP, FNP-BC, AOCNP, Innovative Wellness Solutions, Pittsburgh, PA

Module II:  Treatment Options and Goals of Therapy for MDS

This program reviews the treatment options for myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and the goals of therapy for MDS patients, including:

  • Treatment options for low-risk MDS – observation, EPO, lenalidomide, immune suppression,       iron chelation
  • Treatment options for high-risk MDS – azacitidine, decitabine, allo-HSCT, clinical trials
  • MDS treatment goals – individualized therapy, minimal toxicity, improvement of blood counts, transfusion independence, delay of leukemic transformation, improved survival, quality of life

Faculty: Cindy Benoit RN, BSN, OCN, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL

Module III:  Quality of Life with Myelodysplastic Syndromes

This program reviews the quality of life (QOL) considerations for patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), including:

  • Review of common elements of the concept of QOL
  • Review of various research instruments for measuring QOL
  • Domains included in QOL measurements (symptoms, side effects)
  • Nursing interventions that may improve QOL for MDS patients

Faculty: Sara Tinsley MS, ARNP, AOCN, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL

Module IV:  Role of the Nurse in MDS Patient and Caregiver Education

This program reviews the role of the nurse in educating patients and caregivers about  myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), including:

  • MDS disease state education – resources, provider/patient communication
  • Management of side effects:  myelosuppression, gastrointestinal, dermatological
  • Treatment adherence – factors affecting adherence, guidelines for treatment expectations, role of health care provider

Faculty: Joan M. Latsko, DNP, FNP-BC, AOCNP, Innovative Wellness Solutions, Pittsburgh, PA

Module V:  Living Well with MDS

This program reviews the ways nurses can help patients adjust to living well with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), including:

  • Adjusting to the “new normal” of living with MDS
  • Strategies to help MDS patients with physical and mental aspects of disease
  • MDS patient self-advocacy – building a health care team, preparing for office visits, keeping track of health records and treatment, building a personal support team

Faculty: Joan M. Latsko, DNP, FNP-BC, AOCNP, Innovative Wellness Solutions, Pittsburgh, PA


These modules have been approved for contact hours by the Alabama State Nurses Association Approval Committee and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.  See each module for number of contact hours and activity identification. 

Statement of Disclosure and Independence

The Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation ensures this sponsored educational activity was planned, developed, and conducted in accordance with the ASNA/AANP/ANCC standards and guidelines. All potential conflicts of interest were resolved prior to the activity, content was developed and will be presented free of commercial bias, and is in the interest of promoting improvements or quality healthcare.  All individuals who are in a position to influence and/or control content are required to disclose to the participants any real or apparent conflict of interest related to the activity.  The educational content is also reviewed for independence, balance, objectivity, commercial bias, and content validation by an independent external clinical reviewer.  Independence is also monitored through the activity and overall program evaluation process. The peer reviewer, staff, and other individuals who control content have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.