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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
2.
JCO Oncol Pract ; 18(1): e60-e71, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1403282

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Provider well-being has become the fourth pillar of the quadruple aim for providing quality care. Exacerbated by the global COVID-19 pandemic, provider well-being has become a critical issue for health care systems worldwide. We describe the prevalence and key system-level drivers of burnout in oncologists in Ontario, Canada. METHODS: This is a cross-sectional survey study conducted in November-December 2019 of practicing cancer care physicians (surgical, medical, radiation, gynecologic oncology, and hematology) in Ontario, Canada. Ontario is Canada's largest province (with a population of 14.5 million), and has a single-payer publicly funded cancer system. The primary outcome was burnout experience assessed through the Maslach Burnout Inventory. RESULTS: A total of 418 physicians completed the questionnaire (response rate was 44% among confirmed oncologists). Seventy-three percent (n = 264 of 362) of oncologists had symptoms of burnout (high emotional exhaustion and/or depersonalization scores). Significant drivers of burnout identified in multivariable regression modeling included working in a hectic or chaotic atmosphere (odds ratio [OR] = 15.5; 95% CI, 3.4 to 71.5; P < .001), feeling unappreciated on the job (OR = 7.9; 95% CI, 2.9 to 21.3; P < .001), reporting poor or marginal control over workload (OR = 7.9; 95% CI, 2.9 to 21.3; P < .001), and not being comfortable talking to peers about workplace stress (OR = 3.0; 95% CI, 1.1 to 7.9; P < .001). Older age (≥ 56 years) was associated with lower odds of burnout (OR = 0.16; 95% CI, 0.1 to 0.4; P < .001). CONCLUSION: Nearly three quarters of participants met predefined standardized criteria for burnout. This number is striking, given the known impact of burnout on provider mental health, patient safety, and quality of care, and suggests Oncologists in Ontario may be a vulnerable group that warrants attention. Health care changes being driven by the COVID-19 pandemic provide an opportunity to rebuild new systems that address drivers of burnout. Creating richer peer-to-peer and leadership engagement opportunities among early- to mid-career individuals may be a worthwhile organizational strategy.


Subject(s)
Burnout, Professional , COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Physicians , Aged , Burnout, Professional/epidemiology , Burnout, Psychological , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Job Satisfaction , Ontario/epidemiology , Pandemics , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2 , Workplace
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