Various elements of care deemed to be critical to optimal care were identified by patients with hematologic cancers in a study published in Supportive Care in Cancer.

Patients with hematologic cancers experience both physical and psychologic adverse events (eg, fatigue, nausea, depression, anxiety), which negatively contribute to overall quality of life (QOL) and health-related quality of life (HRQOL).

For this cross-sectional study, researchers surveyed 170 patients with hematologic cancers to determine what components of cancer care patients viewed as the most crucial to receiving what they perceived as optimal care. The survey collected demographic information, disease characteristics, and patient perceptions of optimal care; eligible patients completed a survey at time of consent and received a second survey 4 weeks later. 

All statements presented in the survey were considered essential by the majority of patients, but the ability to share accurate information regarding their disease, treatment, and ongoing care with their general practitioner (GP)/family doctor was considered to be the most essential by the highest percentage of patients (49%).

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Other items deemed important by more than one-third of surveyed patients were the ability to access up-to-date information specific to their situation (43%), ability to receive detailed information (34%), ability to call a healthcare professional at their treatment center (34%), and ability to call a healthcare professional who is knowledgeable of their treatment and disease (34%).

The authors concluded that “further research is needed to identify effective strategies for meeting these preferences and determine the associated impact on quality of care and cancer outcomes.”

Reference

Bryant J, Smits R, Turon H, Sanson-Fisher R, Engel J. Optimal cancer care: what essential elements of care would help haematological cancer patients obtain and understand information about their disease and its treatment and impact? [published online March 9, 2018]. Support Care Cancer. doi: 10.1007/s00520-018-4140-2