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Patient characteristics associated with the level of patient-reported care coordination among male patients with colorectal cancer in the Veterans Affairs health care system.

Jackson GL, Zullig LL, Phelan SM, Provenzale D, Griffin JM, Clauser SB, Haggstrom DA, Jindal RM, van Ryn M. Patient characteristics associated with the level of patient-reported care coordination among male patients with colorectal cancer in the Veterans Affairs health care system. Cancer. 2015 Jul 1; 121(13):2207-13.

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Abstract:

BACKGROUND: The current study was performed to determine whether patient characteristics, including race/ethnicity, were associated with patient-reported care coordination for patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) who were treated in the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system, with the goal of better understanding potential goals of quality improvement efforts aimed at improving coordination. METHODS: The nationwide Cancer Care Assessment and Responsive Evaluation Studies survey involved VA patients with CRC who were diagnosed in 2008 (response rate, 67%). The survey included a 4-item scale of patient-reported frequency ("never," "sometimes," "usually," and "always") of care coordination activities (scale score range, 1-4). Among 913 patients with CRC who provided information regarding care coordination, demographics, and symptoms, multivariable logistic regression was used to examine odds of patients reporting optimal care coordination. RESULTS: VA patients with CRC were found to report high levels of care coordination (mean scale score, 3.50 [standard deviation, 0.61]). Approximately 85% of patients reported a high level of coordination, including the 43% reporting optimal/highest-level coordination. There was no difference observed in the odds of reporting optimal coordination by race/ethnicity. Patients with early-stage disease (odds ratio [OR], 0.60; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.45-0.81), greater pain (OR, 0.97 for a 1-point increase in pain scale; 95% CI, 0.96-0.99), and greater levels of depression (OR, 0.97 for a 1-point increase in depression scale; 95% CI, 0.96-0.99) were less likely to report optimal coordination. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with CRC in the VA reported high levels of care coordination. Unlike what has been reported in settings outside the VA, there appears to be no racial/ethnic disparity in reported coordination. However, challenges remain in ensuring coordination of care for patients with less advanced disease and a high symptom burden. Cancer 2015;121:2207-2213. 2015 American Cancer Society.





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