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Across-province standardization and comparative analysis of time-to-care intervals for cancer.

Winget M, Turner D, Tonita J, King C, Nugent Z, Alvi R, Barss R - BMC Cancer (2007)

Bottom Line: We identified criteria important for selecting time-to-care intervals and appropriate inclusion criteria that were robust across the agencies that did not result in an overly selective sample of patients to be compared.Comparisons of data across three provinces of the selected time-to-care intervals identified several important differences related to treatment and access that require further attention.Expanding this collaboration across Canada would facilitate improvement of and equitable access to quality cancer care at a national level.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Medical Affairs and Community Oncology, Alberta Cancer Board, 10123-99 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, T5J 3H1, Canada. marcywin@cancerboard.ab.ca

ABSTRACT

Background: A set of consistent, standardized definitions of intervals and populations on which to report across provinces is needed to inform the Provincial/Territorial Deputy Ministries of Health on progress of the Ten-Year Plan to Strengthen Health Care. The objectives of this project were to: 1) identify a set of criteria and variables needed to create comparable measures of important time-to-cancer-care intervals that could be applied across provinces and 2) use the measures to compare time-to-care across participating provinces for lung and colorectal cancer patients diagnosed in 2004.

Methods: A broad-based group of stakeholders from each of the three participating cancer agencies was assembled to identify criteria for time-to-care intervals to standardize, evaluate possible intervals and their corresponding start and end time points, and finalize the selection of intervals to pursue. Inclusion/exclusion criteria were identified for the patient population and the selected time points to reduce potential selection bias. The provincial 2004 colorectal and lung cancer data were used to illustrate across-province comparisons for the selected time-to-care intervals.

Results: Criteria identified as critical for time-to-care intervals and corresponding start and end points were: 1) relevant to patients, 2) relevant to clinical care, 3) unequivocally defined, and 4) currently captured consistently across cancer agencies. Time from diagnosis to first radiation or chemotherapy treatment and the smaller components, time from diagnosis to first consult with an oncologist and time from first consult to first radiation or chemotherapy treatment, were the only intervals that met all four criteria. Timeliness of care for the intervals evaluated was similar between the provinces for lung cancer patients but significant differences were found for colorectal cancer patients.

Conclusion: We identified criteria important for selecting time-to-care intervals and appropriate inclusion criteria that were robust across the agencies that did not result in an overly selective sample of patients to be compared. Comparisons of data across three provinces of the selected time-to-care intervals identified several important differences related to treatment and access that require further attention. Expanding this collaboration across Canada would facilitate improvement of and equitable access to quality cancer care at a national level.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Cumulative time from diagnosis to first radiation or chemotherapy treatment by tumor site and province.
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Figure 1: Cumulative time from diagnosis to first radiation or chemotherapy treatment by tumor site and province.

Mentions: Figure 1 shows the cumulative proportion of patients who received radiation or chemotherapy by the time elapsed in days from diagnosis. The time interval is much shorter for lung cancer patients than colorectal cancer patients. The time from diagnosis to first radiation/chemotherapy is significantly different across the provinces for both colorectal (P = 0.002) and lung cancer patients (P = .0061).


Across-province standardization and comparative analysis of time-to-care intervals for cancer.

Winget M, Turner D, Tonita J, King C, Nugent Z, Alvi R, Barss R - BMC Cancer (2007)

Cumulative time from diagnosis to first radiation or chemotherapy treatment by tumor site and province.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2089079&req=5

Figure 1: Cumulative time from diagnosis to first radiation or chemotherapy treatment by tumor site and province.
Mentions: Figure 1 shows the cumulative proportion of patients who received radiation or chemotherapy by the time elapsed in days from diagnosis. The time interval is much shorter for lung cancer patients than colorectal cancer patients. The time from diagnosis to first radiation/chemotherapy is significantly different across the provinces for both colorectal (P = 0.002) and lung cancer patients (P = .0061).

Bottom Line: We identified criteria important for selecting time-to-care intervals and appropriate inclusion criteria that were robust across the agencies that did not result in an overly selective sample of patients to be compared.Comparisons of data across three provinces of the selected time-to-care intervals identified several important differences related to treatment and access that require further attention.Expanding this collaboration across Canada would facilitate improvement of and equitable access to quality cancer care at a national level.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Medical Affairs and Community Oncology, Alberta Cancer Board, 10123-99 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, T5J 3H1, Canada. marcywin@cancerboard.ab.ca

ABSTRACT

Background: A set of consistent, standardized definitions of intervals and populations on which to report across provinces is needed to inform the Provincial/Territorial Deputy Ministries of Health on progress of the Ten-Year Plan to Strengthen Health Care. The objectives of this project were to: 1) identify a set of criteria and variables needed to create comparable measures of important time-to-cancer-care intervals that could be applied across provinces and 2) use the measures to compare time-to-care across participating provinces for lung and colorectal cancer patients diagnosed in 2004.

Methods: A broad-based group of stakeholders from each of the three participating cancer agencies was assembled to identify criteria for time-to-care intervals to standardize, evaluate possible intervals and their corresponding start and end time points, and finalize the selection of intervals to pursue. Inclusion/exclusion criteria were identified for the patient population and the selected time points to reduce potential selection bias. The provincial 2004 colorectal and lung cancer data were used to illustrate across-province comparisons for the selected time-to-care intervals.

Results: Criteria identified as critical for time-to-care intervals and corresponding start and end points were: 1) relevant to patients, 2) relevant to clinical care, 3) unequivocally defined, and 4) currently captured consistently across cancer agencies. Time from diagnosis to first radiation or chemotherapy treatment and the smaller components, time from diagnosis to first consult with an oncologist and time from first consult to first radiation or chemotherapy treatment, were the only intervals that met all four criteria. Timeliness of care for the intervals evaluated was similar between the provinces for lung cancer patients but significant differences were found for colorectal cancer patients.

Conclusion: We identified criteria important for selecting time-to-care intervals and appropriate inclusion criteria that were robust across the agencies that did not result in an overly selective sample of patients to be compared. Comparisons of data across three provinces of the selected time-to-care intervals identified several important differences related to treatment and access that require further attention. Expanding this collaboration across Canada would facilitate improvement of and equitable access to quality cancer care at a national level.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus