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Patient and Clinician Characteristics Associated with Adherence. A Cohort Study of Veterans with Incidental Pulmonary Nodules.

Moseson EM, Wiener RS, Golden SE, Au DH, Gorman JD, Laing AD, Deffebach ME, Slatore CG. Patient and Clinician Characteristics Associated with Adherence. A Cohort Study of Veterans with Incidental Pulmonary Nodules. Annals of the American Thoracic Society. 2016 May 1; 13(5):651-9.

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RATIONALE: Many patients are diagnosed with small pulmonary nodules for which professional societies recommend subsequent imaging surveillance. Adherence to these guidelines involves many steps from both clinicians and patients but has not been well studied. OBJECTIVES: In a health care setting with a nodule tracking system, we evaluated the association of communication processes and distress with patient and clinician adherence to recommended follow up and Fleischner Society guidelines, respectively. METHODS: We conducted a prospective, longitudinally assessed, cohort study of patients with incidentally detected nodules who received care at one Veterans Affairs Medical Center. We measured patient-centered communication with the Consultation Care Measure and distress with the Impact of Event Scale. We abstracted data regarding participant adherence to clinician recommendations (defined as receiving the follow-up scan within 30 d of the recommended date) and clinician adherence to Fleischner guidelines (defined as planning the follow-up scan within 30 d of the recommended interval) from the electronic medical record. We measured associations of communication and distress with adherence using multivariable-adjusted generalized estimating equations. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Among 138 veterans, 39% were nonadherent at least once during follow up. Clinicians were nonadherent to Fleischner guidelines for 27% of follow-up scans. High-quality communication (adjusted odds ratio, 3.65; P? = 0.02) and distress (adjusted odds ratio, 0.38; P? = 0.02) were associated with increased and decreased participant adherence, respectively. Neither was associated with clinician adherence. CONCLUSIONS: Patients and clinicians often do not adhere to nodule follow-up recommendations. Interventions designed to improve communication quality and decrease distress may also improve patient adherence to nodule follow-up recommendations.

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