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Measures Assess Cancer Care Based on Patient Concerns

-- A. Agrawal, PhD

Friday, March 6, 2009

FRIDAY, Mar. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Three measures used to assess the quality of medical care at the time of cancer diagnosis and treatment are reliable and valid, and reflect the concerns of patients about a lack of communication about their diagnosis and treatment as well as their treatment experience, according to a report published online Mar. 2 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Joan M. Teno, M.D., from Brown University School of Medicine in Providence, R.I., and colleagues surveyed 162 patients with advanced cancer regarding their care at diagnosis and treatment. From these, they developed and assessed three problem scores (counts of the opportunities to improve the quality of care).

The researchers found that 58 percent of patients had concerns about communication at the time of diagnosis, 57 percent had concerns about treatment communication, and 30.2 percent had concerns about the treatment experience. Each of the three problem scores showed internal consistency and validity. Patients with a higher rate of concerns also reported more psychological distress, the authors note.

"The three proposed problem scores demonstrate evidence of reliability and validity that warrants further testing to examine their responsiveness and discriminate validity in larger, more generalizable samples," Teno and colleagues conclude.

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Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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