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2.
BMJ Open Qual ; 12(2)2023 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20241465

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Medication reconciliation (MedRec) is a process where providers work with patients to document and communicate comprehensive medication information by creating a complete medication list (best possible medication history (BPMH)) then reconciling it against what patient is actually taking to identify potential issues such as drug-drug interactions. We undertook an environmental scan of current MedRec practices in outpatient cancer care to inform a quality improvement project at our centre with the aim of 30% of patients having a BPMH or MedRec within 30 days of initiating treatment with systemic therapy. METHODS: We conducted semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders from 21 cancer centres across Canada, probing on current policies, and barriers and facilitators to MedRec. Guided by the findings of the scan, we then undertook a quality improvement project at our cancer centre, comprising six iterative improvement cycles. RESULTS: Most institutions interviewed had a process in place for collecting a BPMH (81%) and targeted patients initiating systemic therapy (59%); however, considerable practice variation was noted and completion of full MedRec was uncommon. Lack of resources, high patient volumes, lack of a common medical record spanning institutions and settings which limits access to medication records from external institutions and community pharmacies were identified as significant barriers. Despite navigating challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we achieved 26.6% of eligible patients with a documented BPMH. However, uptake of full MedRec remained low whereby 4.7% of patients had a documented MedRec. CONCLUSIONS: Realising improvements to completion of MedRec in outpatient cancer care is possible but takes considerable time and iteration as the process is complex. Resource allocation and information sharing remain major barriers which need to be addressed in order to observe meaningful improvements in MedRec.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Humans , Medication Reconciliation , Outpatients , Pandemics , Electronic Health Records , Neoplasms/drug therapy
3.
CMAJ Open ; 11(3): E426-E433, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2314647

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Physicians were directed to prioritize using nonsurgical cancer treatment at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. We sought to quantify the impact of this policy on the modality of first cancer treatment (surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy or no treatment). METHODS: In this population-based study using Ontario data from linked administrative databases, we identified adults diagnosed with cancer from January 2016 to November 2020 and their first cancer treatment received within 1 year postdiagnosis. Segmented Poisson regressions were applied to each modality to estimate the change in mean 1-year recipient volume per thousand patients (rate) at the start of the pandemic (the week of Mar. 15, 2020) and change in the weekly trend in rate during the pandemic (Mar. 15, 2020, to Nov. 7, 2020) relative to before the pandemic (Jan. 3, 2016, to Mar. 14, 2020). RESULTS: We included 321 535 people diagnosed with cancer. During the first week of the COVID-19 pandemic, the mean rate of receiving upfront surgery over the next year declined by 9% (rate ratio 0.91, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.88-0.95), and chemotherapy and radiotherapy rates rose by 30% (rate ratio 1.30, 95% CI 1.23-1.36) and 13% (rate ratio 1.13, 95% CI 1.07-1.19), respectively. Subsequently, the 1-year rate of upfront surgery increased at 0.4% for each week (rate ratio 1.004, 95% CI 1.002-1.006), and chemotherapy and radiotherapy rates decreased by 0.9% (rate ratio 0.991, 95% CI 0.989-0.994) and 0.4% (rate ratio 0.996, 95% CI 0.994-0.998), respectively, per week. Rates of each modality resumed to prepandemic levels at 24-31 weeks into the pandemic. INTERPRETATION: An immediate and sustained increase in use of nonsurgical therapy as the first cancer treatment occurred during the first 8 months of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario. Further research is needed to understand the consequences.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Adult , Humans , Pandemics , Cohort Studies , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Databases, Factual , Ontario/epidemiology , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Neoplasms/therapy
4.
J Natl Compr Canc Netw ; : 1-9, 2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2258411

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Resource restrictions were established in many jurisdictions to maintain health system capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Disrupted healthcare access likely impacted early cancer detection. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of the pandemic on weekly reported cancer incidence. PATIENTS AND METHODS: This was a population-based study involving individuals diagnosed with cancer from September 25, 2016, to September 26, 2020, in Ontario, Canada. Weekly cancer incidence counts were examined using segmented negative binomial regression models. The weekly estimated backlog during the pandemic was calculated by subtracting the observed volume from the projected/expected volume in that week. RESULTS: The cohort consisted of 358,487 adult patients with cancer. At the start of the pandemic, there was an immediate 34.3% decline in the estimated mean cancer incidence volume (relative rate, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.57-0.75), followed by a 1% increase in cancer incidence volume in each subsequent week (relative rate, 1.009; 95% CI, 1.001-1.017). Similar trends were found for both screening and nonscreening cancers. The largest immediate declines were seen for melanoma and cervical, endocrinologic, and prostate cancers. For hepatobiliary and lung cancers, there continued to be a weekly decline in incidence during the COVID-19 period. Between March 15 and September 26, 2020, 12,601 fewer individuals were diagnosed with cancer, with an estimated weekly backlog of 450. CONCLUSIONS: We estimate that there is a large volume of undetected cancer cases related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Incidence rates have not yet returned to prepandemic levels.

5.
JCO Oncol Pract ; 19(5): e732-e744, 2023 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2271512

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic led to the rapid implementation of remote work, but few studies have examined the impact. We evaluated clinical staff experience with working remotely at a large, urban comprehensive cancer center in Toronto, Canada. METHODS: An electronic survey was disseminated between June 2021, and August 2021, via e-mail to staff who had completed at least some remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Factors associated with a negative experience were examined with binary logistic regression. Barriers were derived from a thematic analysis of open-text fields. RESULTS: Most respondents (N = 333; response rate, 33.2%) were age 40-69 years (46.2%), female (61.3%), and physicians (24.6%). Although the majority of respondents wished to continue remote work (85.6%), relative to administrative staff (admin), physicians (odds ratio [OR], 16.6; 95% CI, 1.45 to 190.14) and pharmacists (OR, 12.6; 95% CI, 1.0 to 158.9) were more likely to want to return on-site. Physicians were approximately eight times more likely to report dissatisfaction with remote work (OR, 8.4; 95% CI, 1.4 to 51.6) and 24 times more likely to report that remote work negatively affected efficiency (OR, 24.0; 95% CI, 2.7 to 213.0); nurses were approximately seven times more likely to report the need for additional resources (OR, 6.5; 95% CI, 1.71 to 24.48) and/or training (OR, 7.02; 95% CI, 1.78 to 27.62). The most common barriers were the absence of fair processes for allocation of remote work, poor integration of digital applications and connectivity, and poor role clarity. CONCLUSION: Although overall satisfaction with working remotely was high, work is needed to overcome barriers to implementation of remote and hybrid work models in the health care setting.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Humans , Female , Adult , Middle Aged , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Surveys and Questionnaires , Canada
6.
JAMA Oncol ; 9(3): 386-394, 2023 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2260946

ABSTRACT

Importance: Patients with cancer are known to have increased risk of COVID-19 complications, including death. Objective: To determine the association of COVID-19 vaccination with breakthrough infections and complications in patients with cancer compared to noncancer controls. Design, Setting, and Participants: Retrospective population-based cohort study using linked administrative databases in Ontario, Canada, in residents 18 years and older who received COVID-19 vaccination. Three matched groups were identified (based on age, sex, type of vaccine, date of vaccine): 1:4 match for patients with hematologic and solid cancer to noncancer controls (hematologic and solid cancers separately analyzed), 1:1 match between patients with hematologic and patients with solid cancer. Exposures: Cancer diagnosis. Main Outcomes and Measures: Outcomes occurring 14 days after receipt of second COVID-19 vaccination dose: primary outcome was SARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infection; secondary outcomes were emergency department visit, hospitalization, and death within 4 weeks of SARS-CoV-2 infection (end of follow-up March 31, 2022). Multivariable cumulative incidence function models were used to obtain adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) and 95% CIs. Results: A total of 289 400 vaccinated patients with cancer (39 880 hematologic; 249 520 solid) with 1 157 600 matched noncancer controls were identified; the cohort was 65.4% female, and mean (SD) age was 66 (14.0) years. SARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infection was higher in patients with hematologic cancer (aHR, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.20-1.46; P < .001) but not in patients with solid cancer (aHR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.96-1.05; P = .87). COVID-19 severe outcomes (composite of hospitalization and death) were significantly higher in patients with cancer compared to patients without cancer (aHR, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.42-1.63; P < .001). Risk of severe outcomes was higher among patients with hematologic cancer (aHR, 2.51; 95% CI, 2.21-2.85; P < .001) than patients with solid cancer (aHR, 1.43; 95% CI, 1.24-1.64; P < .001). Patients receiving active treatment had a further heightened risk for COVID-19 severe outcomes, particularly those who received anti-CD20 therapy. Third vaccination dose was associated with lower infection and COVID-19 complications, except for patients receiving anti-CD20 therapy. Conclusions and Relevance: In this large population-based cohort study, patients with cancer had greater risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and worse outcomes than patients without cancer, and the risk was highest for patients with hematologic cancer and any patients with cancer receiving active treatment. Triple vaccination was associated with lower risk of poor outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hematologic Neoplasms , Neoplasms , Humans , Female , Aged , Male , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Breakthrough Infections , Cohort Studies , Retrospective Studies , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Vaccination , Ontario/epidemiology
7.
Cancer Med ; 12(10): 11849-11859, 2023 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2259699

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Little is known about the association between the COVID-19 pandemic and early survival among newly diagnosed cancer patients. METHODS: This retrospective population-based cohort study used linked administrative datasets from Ontario, Canada. Adults (≥18 years) who received a cancer diagnosis between March 15 and December 31, 2020, were included in a pandemic cohort, while those diagnosed during the same dates in 2018/2019 were included in a pre-pandemic cohort. All patients were followed for one full year after the date of diagnosis. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to assess survival in relation to the pandemic, patient characteristics at diagnosis, and the modality of first cancer treatment as a time-varying covariate. Interaction terms were explored to measure the pandemic association with survival for each cancer type. RESULTS: Among 179,746 patients, 53,387 (29.7%) were in the pandemic cohort and 37,741 (21.0%) died over the first post-diagnosis year. No association between the pandemic and survival was found when adjusting for patient characteristics at diagnosis (HR 0.99 [95% CI 0.96-1.01]), while marginally better survival was found for the pandemic cohort when the modality of treatment was additionally considered (HR 0.97 [95% CI 0.95-0.99]). When examining each cancer type, only a new melanoma diagnosis was associated with a worse survival in the pandemic cohort (HR 1.25 [95% CI 1.05-1.49]). CONCLUSIONS: Among patients able to receive a cancer diagnosis during the pandemic, one-year overall survival was not different than those diagnosed in the previous 2 years. This study highlights the complex nature of the COVID-19 pandemic impact on cancer care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Adult , Humans , Ontario/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , Cohort Studies , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Neoplasms/therapy
8.
J Natl Cancer Inst ; 2022 Nov 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2234510

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In many jurisdictions, cancer patients were prioritized for COVID-19 vaccination due to increased risk of infection and death. To understand sociodemographic disparities which impacted timely receipt of COVID-19 vaccination amongst cancer patients, we undertook a population-based study in Ontario, Canada. METHODS: Patients >18 years, diagnosed with cancer 01/2010- 09/2020 were identified using administrative data; vaccination administration was captured between approval (12/2020) up to 02/2022. Factors associated with time to vaccination were evaluated using multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression. RESULTS: The cohort consisted of 356,535 patients, majority of whom had solid tumor cancers (85.9%) and were not on active treatment (74.1%); 86.8% had received at least two doses. Rate of vaccination was 25% lower in recent (HR: 0.74,95% CI: 0.72-0.76) and non-recent immigrants (HR: 0.80, 95% CI: 0.79-0.81). A greater proportion of unvaccinated patients were from neighborhoods with high concentration of new immigrants or self-reported members of racialized groups (26.0% vs 21.3%, standardized difference: 0.111, p < 0.01), Residential Instability (27.1% vs 23.0%, standardized difference: 0.094, p < 0.01) or Material Deprivation (22.1% vs 16.8%, standardized difference: 0.134, p < 0.01), and low socioeconomic status (20.9% vs 16.0%, standardized difference: 0.041, p < 0.01). Rate of vaccination was 20% lower in patients from neighborhoods with the lowest socioeconomic status (HR: 0.82, 95% CI: 0.81-0.84) and highest material deprivation (HR: 0.80, 95% CI: 0.78-0.81) relative to those in more advantaged neighborhoods. CONCLUSION: Despite funding of vaccines and prioritization of high-risk populations, marginalized patients were less likely to be vaccinated. Differences are likely due to the interplay between systemic barriers to access, and cultural/ social influences impacting uptake.

9.
JAMA Netw Open ; 6(1): e2250394, 2023 01 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2172247

ABSTRACT

Importance: The impact of COVID-19 on the modality and timeliness of first-line cancer treatment is unclear yet critical to the planning of subsequent care. Objective: To explore the association of the COVID-19 pandemic with modalities of and wait times for first cancer treatment. Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective population-based cohort study using administrative data was conducted in Ontario, Canada, among adults newly diagnosed with cancer between January 3, 2016, and November 7, 2020. Participants were followed up from date of diagnosis for 1 year, until death, or until June 26, 2021, whichever occurred first, to ensure a minimum of 6-month follow-up time. Exposures: Receiving a cancer diagnosis in the pandemic vs prepandemic period, using March 15, 2020, the date when elective hospital procedures were halted. Main Outcomes and Measures: The main outcome was a time-to-event variable describing number of days from date of diagnosis to date of receiving first cancer treatment (surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation) or to being censored. For each treatment modality, a multivariable competing-risk regression model was used to assess the association between time to treatment and COVID-19 period. A secondary continuous outcome was defined for patients who were treated 6 months after diagnosis as the waiting time from date of diagnosis to date of treatment. Results: Among 313 499 patients, the mean (SD) age was 66.4 (14.1) years and 153 679 (49.0%) were male patients. Those who were diagnosed during the pandemic were less likely to receive surgery first (subdistribution hazard ratio [sHR], 0.97; 95% CI, 0.95-0.99) but were more likely to receive chemotherapy (sHR, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.23-1.30) or radiotherapy (sHR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.13-1.20) first. Among patients who received treatment within 6 months from diagnosis (228 755 [73.0%]), their mean (SD) waiting time decreased from 35.1 (37.2) days to 29.5 (33.6) days for surgery, from 43.7 (34.1) days to 38.4 (30.6) days for chemotherapy, and from 55.8 (41.8) days to 49.0 (40.1) days for radiotherapy. Conclusions and Relevance: In this cohort study, the pandemic was significantly associated with greater use of nonsurgical therapy as initial cancer treatment. Wait times were shorter in the pandemic period for those treated within 6 months of diagnosis. Future work needs to examine how these changes may have affected patient outcomes to inform future pandemic guideline development.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Adult , Humans , Male , Aged , Female , COVID-19/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , Cohort Studies , Pandemics , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Neoplasms/therapy , Ontario/epidemiology
10.
J Natl Compr Canc Netw ; 20(11): 1190-1192, 2022 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2110728

ABSTRACT

No population-based study exists to demonstrate the full-spectrum impact of COVID-19 on hindering incident cancer detection in a large cancer system. Building upon our previous publication in JNCCN, we conducted an updated analysis using 12 months of new data accrued in the pandemic era (extending the study period from September 26, 2020, to October 2, 2021) to demonstrate how multiple COVID-19 waves affected the weekly cancer incidence volume in Ontario, Canada, and if we have fully cleared the backlog at the end of each wave.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Ontario/epidemiology
11.
Curr Oncol ; 29(10): 7732-7744, 2022 Oct 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2071265

ABSTRACT

Due to the ramping down of cancer surgery in early pandemic, many newly diagnosed patients received other treatments first. We aimed to quantify the pandemic-related shift in rate of surgery following chemotherapy. This is a retrospective population-based cohort study involving adults diagnosed with cancer between 3 January 2016 and 7 November 2020 in Ontario, Canada who received chemotherapy as first treatment within 6-months of diagnosis. Competing-risks regression models with interaction effects were used to quantify the association between COVID-19 period (receiving a cancer diagnosis before or on/after 15 March 2020) and receipt of surgical reSection 9-months after first chemotherapy. Among 51,653 patients, 8.5% (n = 19,558) of them ultimately underwent surgery 9-months after chemotherapy initiation. Receipt of surgery was higher during the pandemic than before (sHR 1.07, 95% CI 1.02-1.13). Material deprivation was independently associated with lower receipt of surgery (least vs. most deprived quintile: sHR 1.11, 95% CI 1.04-1.17), but did not change with the pandemic. The surgical rate increase was most pronounced for breast cancer (sHR 1.13, 95% CI 1.06-1.20). These pandemic-related shifts in cancer treatment requires further evaluations to understand the long-term consequences. Persistent material deprivation-related inequity in cancer surgical access needs to be addressed.


Subject(s)
Breast Neoplasms , COVID-19 , Adult , Humans , Female , Chemotherapy, Adjuvant , Retrospective Studies , Cohort Studies , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Breast Neoplasms/drug therapy , Breast Neoplasms/surgery , Ontario/epidemiology
17.
JCO Oncol Pract ; 18(10): 703-712, 2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1987096

ABSTRACT

The Choosing Wisely (CW) campaign, launched in 2012, includes oncology-specific recommendations to promote evidence-based care and deimplementation of low-value practices. However, it is unclear to what extent the campaign has prompted practice change. We systematically reviewed the literature to evaluate the uptake of cancer-specific CW recommendations focusing on the period before the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic. We used Grimshaw's deimplementation framework to thematically group the findings and extracted information on implementation strategies, barriers, and facilitators from articles reporting on active implementation. In the 98 articles addressing 32 unique recommendations, most reported on passive changes in adherence pre-post publication of CW recommendations. Use of active surveillance for low-risk prostate cancer and reduction in staging imaging for early breast cancer were the most commonly evaluated recommendations. Most articles assessing passive changes in adherence pre-post CW publication reported improvement. All articles evaluating active implementation (10 of 98) reported improved compliance (range: 3%-73% improvement). Most common implementation strategies included provider education and/or stakeholder engagement. Preconceived views and reluctance to adopt new practices were common barriers; common facilitators included the use of technology and provider education to increase provider buy-in. Given the limited uptake of oncology-specific CW recommendations thus far, more attention toward supporting active implementation is needed. Effective adoption of CW likely requires a multipronged approach that includes building stakeholder buy-in through engagement and education, using technology-enabled forced functions to facilitate change along with policy and reimbursement models that disincentivize low-value care. Professional societies have a role to play in supporting this next phase of CW.


Subject(s)
Breast Neoplasms , COVID-19 , Prostatic Neoplasms , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Medical Oncology , Pandemics , Prostatic Neoplasms/therapy
18.
Curr Oncol ; 29(3): 1877-1889, 2022 03 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742359

ABSTRACT

Emergency department (ED) use is a concern for surgery patients, physicians and health administrators particularly during a pandemic. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of the pandemic on ED use following cancer-directed surgeries. This is a retrospective cohort study of patients undergoing cancer-directed surgeries comparing ED use from 7 January 2018 to 14 March 2020 (pre-pandemic) and 15 March 2020 to 27 June 2020 (pandemic) in Ontario, Canada. Logistic regression models were used to (1) determine the association between pandemic vs. pre-pandemic periods and the odds of an ED visit within 30 days after discharge from hospital for surgery and (2) to assess the odds of an ED visit being of high acuity (level 1 and 2 as per the Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale). Of our cohort of 499,008 cancer-directed surgeries, 468,879 occurred during the pre-pandemic period and 30,129 occurred during the pandemic period. Even though there was a substantial decrease in the general population ED rates, after covariate adjustment, there was no significant decrease in ED use among surgical patients (OR 1.002, 95% CI 0.957-1.048). However, the adjusted odds of an ED visit being of high acuity was 23% higher among surgeries occurring during the pandemic (OR 1.23, 95% CI 1.14-1.33). Although ED visits in the general population decreased substantially during the pandemic, the rate of ED visits did not decrease among those receiving cancer-directed surgery. Moreover, those presenting in the ED post-operatively during the pandemic had significantly higher levels of acuity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms , COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Neoplasms/surgery , Ontario/epidemiology , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies
19.
BMJ ; 375: e066588, 2021 12 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1560914

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of remote proactive management of toxicities during chemotherapy for early stage breast cancer. DESIGN: Pragmatic, cluster randomised trial. SETTING: 20 cancer centres in Ontario, Canada, allocated by covariate constrained randomisation to remote management of toxicities or routine care. PARTICIPANTS: All patients starting adjuvant or neoadjuvant chemotherapy for early stage breast cancer at each centre. 25 patients from each centre completed patient reported outcome questionnaires. INTERVENTIONS: Proactive, standardised, nurse led telephone management of common toxicities at two time points after each chemotherapy cycle. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome, cluster level mean number of visits to the emergency department or admissions to hospital per patient during the whole course of chemotherapy treatment, was evaluated with routinely available administrative healthcare data. Secondary patient reported outcomes included toxicity, self-efficacy, and quality of life. RESULTS: Baseline characteristics of participants were similar in the intervention (n=944) and control arms (n=1214); 22% were older than 65 years. Penetration (that is, the percentage of patients who received the intervention at each centre) was 50-86%. Mean number of visits to the emergency department or admissions to hospital per patient was 0.91 (standard deviation 0.28) in the intervention arm and 0.94 (0.40) in the control arm (P=0.94); 47% (1014 of 2158 patients) had at least one visit to the emergency department or a hospital admission during chemotherapy. Among 580 participants who completed the patient reported outcome questionnaires, at least one grade 3 toxicity was reported by 48% (134 of 278 patients) in the intervention arm and by 58% (163 of 283) in the control arm. No differences in self-efficacy, anxiety, or depression were found. Compared with baseline, the functional assessment of cancer therapy trial outcome index decreased by 6.1 and 9.0 points in the intervention and control participants, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Proactive, telephone based management of toxicities during chemotherapy did not result in fewer visits to the emergency department or hospital admissions. With the rapid rise in remote care because of the covid-19 pandemic, identifying scalable strategies for remote management of patients during cancer treatment is particularly relevant. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02485678.


Subject(s)
Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols/administration & dosage , Breast Neoplasms/drug therapy , Monitoring, Ambulatory/methods , Outpatients , Telemedicine , Telephone , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols/adverse effects , Breast Neoplasms/psychology , COVID-19 , Chemotherapy, Adjuvant/adverse effects , Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , Ontario , Pandemics , Quality of Life , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Treatment Outcome
20.
Int J Qual Health Care ; 33(2)2021 Jun 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1249305

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The disruption of health services due to coronavirus disease (COVID) is expected to dramatically alter cancer care; however, the implications for care quality and outcomes remain poorly understood. OBJECTIVE: We undertook a scoping review to evaluate what is known in the literature about how cancer treatment has been modified as a result of the COVID pandemic in patients receiving treatment for solid tumours, and what domains of quality of care are most impacted. METHODS: Citations were retrieved from MEDLINE and EMBASE (from 1 January 2019 to 28 October 2020), utilizing search terms grouped by the key concept (oncology, treatment, treatment modifications and COVID). Articles were excluded if they dealt exclusively with management of COVID-positive patients, modifications to cancer screening, diagnosis or supportive care or were not in English. Articles reporting on guidelines, consensus statements, recommendations, literature reviews, simulations or predictive models, or opinions in the absence of accompanying information on experience with treatment modifications in practice were excluded. Treatment modifications derived from the literature were stratified by modality (surgery, systemic therapy (ST) and radiotherapy) and thematically grouped. To understand what areas of quality were most impacted, modifications were mapped against the Institute of Medicine's quality domains. Where reported, barriers and facilitators were abstracted and thematically grouped to understand drivers of treatment modifications. Findings were synthesized into a logic model to conceptualize the inter-relationships between different modifications, as well as their downstream impacts on outcomes. RESULTS: In the 87 retained articles, reductions in outpatients visits (26.4%) and delays/deferrals were commonly reported across all treatment modalities (surgery: 50%; ST: 55.8% and radiotherapy: 56.7%), as were reductions in surgical capacity (57.1%), alternate systemic regimens with longer treatment intervals or use of oral agents (19.2%) and the use of hypofractionated radiotherapy regimens (40.0%). Delivery of effective, timely and equitable care was the quality domains found to be the most impacted. The most commonly reported facilitator of maintaining cancer care delivery levels was the shift to virtual models of care (62.1%), while patient-initiated deferrals and cancellations (34.8%), often due to fear of contracting COVID (60.9%), was a commonly reported barrier. CONCLUSIONS: As it will take a considerable amount of time for the cancer system to resume capacity and adjust models of care in response to the pandemic, these treatment delays and modifications will likely be prolonged and will negatively impact the quality of care and patient outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Models, Theoretical , Neoplasms/therapy , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
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