Despite recent progress, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV), especially delayed CINV, continues to be a problem. Delayed CINV is underestimated and perceived differently by providers and patients. Communication between providers and patients about this side effect may help improve outcomes. This study identifies patients’ and providers’ perceptions of management and barriers to quality CINV care. Provider and patient versions of a Nausea and Vomiting Management Barriers Questionnaire were developed to address potential barriers. Providers and patients were given opportunities to add detail in open-ended questions. Providers were recruited through the NCCN and the Oncology Nursing Society mailing lists. Patients who received at least 2 cycles of chemotherapy and experienced CINV were recruited through a consortium of advocacy groups. Both providers (n = 141) and patients (n = 299) completed the survey. Providers (41%) and patients (42%) agreed medication side effects were a concern, but more patients (63%) than providers (36%) tried to limit the number of medications taken (P < .0001). Many providers (67%) spontaneously reported barriers to managing CINV, with financial and patient-related factors among the most common. Few patients (10%) reported cost as a barrier, but 37% endorsed the desire “to be strong by not complaining.” Barriers to communication and quality care of CINV differ between caregivers and patients. Addressing misconceptions and establishing mutually consistent goals will lead to more effective overall care.
John M. Salsman, Steven M. Grunberg, Jennifer L. Beaumont, Miriam Rogers, Diane Paul, Marla L. Clayman and David Cella
John M. Salsman, Betina Yanez, Kristin N. Smith, Jennifer L. Beaumont, Mallory A. Snyder, Khouri Barnes and Marla L. Clayman
Background: Professional guidelines have been developed to promote discussion between providers and newly diagnosed young adults with cancer about the possibility of cancer treatment–related infertility, but previous research suggests many young adults fail to receive this information. The aim of this study was to examine rates of and factors predictive of oncologists' compliance with national guidelines for discussing potential treatment-related infertility with newly diagnosed young adults with cancer seen at an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center. Methods: We reviewed data from the electronic medical record for new clinic encounters between medical oncologists and young adults with cancer (ages 18–39 years) from 2010 to 2012. Data from oncologist discussions of fertility preservation were abstracted, as were patient (age, sex, race, ethnicity, cancer type) and oncologist (gender, graduation year from fellowship) characteristics. Results: A total of 1,018 cases were reviewed, with 454 patients (mean, 31.5 years; 67.8% women) meeting inclusion criteria. Overall, 83% of patients were informed about potential treatment-related infertility, with patients with breast cancer (85% informed), Hodgkin lymphoma (95% informed), non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (94% informed), leukemia (88% informed), or testicular cancer (100% informed) more likely to be informed than those with other cancer types (60%–74% informed). There was a significant effect for patient sex (odds ratio, 3.57; CI, 1.33, 9.60; P=.012), with women being more likely to be informed than men. Conclusions: Reported compliance with fertility preservation guidelines was greater than published rates. Higher compliance rates in female patients and in patients with cancers more common among young adults may reflect greater awareness of fertility-related concerns among these patients and their providers.
Karen E. Kinahan, Sheetal Kircher, Jessica Altman, Alfred Rademaker, John M. Salsman, Aarati Didwania, Bridget O'Brien, Alpa C. Patel and Stacy D. Sanford
Background: The “shared-care model” for patients with cancer involves care coordination between primary care providers (PCPs) and oncologists, with the goal of optimizing survivorship care. However, a high proportion of adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer survivors do not have a PCP. Study objectives were to increase the percentage of AYAs with a PCP documented in the electronic medical record (EMR) via the use of a best practice advisory (BPA) or “stopgap” intervention; to increase communication between providers by the number of routed clinic notes; and to assess oncology providers' attitudes/beliefs about the model and intervention. Methods: Data were collected for the 6 months before implementation of the BPA to determine the percentage of AYAs with a PCP and the number of notes routed to providers (time point 1 [T1]). The same data were collected at time point 2 (T2) after the BPA had been implemented for 6 months. Oncology providers participated in an education video module and an online survey at T1 and a survey at T2. Results: At T1, 47.1% of 756 AYAs had a documented PCP in the EMR. At T2, the percentage increased to 55.1% (P<.002). The number of routed notes did not change significantly from T1 to T2. Providers that completed the intervention survey agreed/strongly agreed that the shared-care model is a desirable model of care (T1 = 86%; T2 = 93%) and that a BPA is useful for facilitating PCP referrals (T1 = 76%; T2 = 39%). Conclusions: This BPA is feasible for increasing the percentage of AYAs with a PCP documented in the EMR and could potentially lead to increased PCP referral and communication among providers for the benefit of long-term survivorship care. Providers generally agree with the shared-care model; however, the BPA implementation requires modification.