A clinic in Sweden conducted a study of perceived quality of care (QOC) among patients undergoing proton beam therapy (PBT) for brain tumors, with results published in Supportive Care in Cancer.

The Skandion Clinic in Sweden began offering PBT in August 2015 and has asked patients with brain tumors treated at the facility to complete questionnaires on their perspective of QOC associated with health-related quality of life.

The EORTC QLQ-C30 and a modified version of the Quality from the Patients’ Perspective questionnaire were completed by 186 patients at the beginning of treatment and at 3 and 6 weeks.

Scores for perceived QOC were high for doctor/nurse interactions with the patient and information about treatments and common symptoms, but ratings were lower for items regarding smoking and dietician information. Significant improvements were seen over the 6 weeks in information about symptoms, self-care, and treatment (P < .05).

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Items involving doctor/nurse interactions and treatment information scored high in importance. The importance of treatment information and information about the duration of radiation therapy symptoms significantly increased over the 6 weeks, while the importance of dietician information significantly dropped. Subjective importance scores were higher than scores for perceived reality of QOC for more than half of the items.

Global health and many areas of functioning declined over the 6 weeks, while emotional functioning improved. High global health scores were somewhat correlated with high scores for understanding from the doctor, support with fatigue, and receiving information about common symptoms (P ≤ .001 for each). However, patients with greater fatigue reported insufficient support for this symptom.

Clinicians should seek greater awareness of patients’ perception of symptom information, alignment of care with perceived importance, and patient input into care decisions when tailoring counseling and educational information for patients.

Reference

Langegård U, Ahlberg K, Fransson P, et al. Evaluation of quality of care in relation to health-related quality of life of patients diagnosed with brain tumor: a novel clinic for proton beam therapy [November 27, 2018]. Support Care Cancer. doi: 10.1007/s00520-018-4557-7