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Randomized phase 2 trial of a coordinated breast cancer follow-up care program.

Ruddy KJ, et al. Cancer. 2016.


BACKGROUND: Previous research has demonstrated that cancer survivors often fail to receive recommended care and also undergo unnecessary care; this reduces care quality and increases costs.

METHODS: This phase 2 trial randomized 100 stage 0 to IIIa breast cancer patients who had primary care providers within a large Massachusetts-based hospital network (with accessible online records) to either coordinated follow-up care (CC), which entailed a tailored survivorship care plan (SCP) and patient navigator calls every 3 months, or standard care (SC), which did not include an SCP or patient navigation, for 1 year after the completion of their last chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation treatment. The primary endpoint was the frequency of redundant examinations (>1 breast/chest wall examination per patient within any 30-day period in the absence of a new breast or chest wall complaint) over the year of follow-up. The total number of non-plastic surgery visits in the year of follow-up was a secondary endpoint.

RESULTS: Two patients (both on CC) were ineligible, and 2 patients (1 per arm) had a recurrence or died during follow-up; this left 96 for analysis (47 in the CC arm and 49 in the SC arm). Twenty-two of the 47 CC patients (47%; 95% confidence interval, 32%-62%) and 19 of the 49 SC patients (39%; 95% confidence interval, 25%-54%) had 1 or more redundant breast/chest wall examinations during the year. The median number of non-plastic surgery visits was 12 for CC patients and 8 for SC patients.

CONCLUSIONS: Early-stage breast cancer patients visit health care providers very frequently during their first year of follow-up and often receive unnecessary breast/chest wall examinations. An SCP and patient navigator calls did not reduce this surrogate for redundant care. Cancer 2016;122:3546-3554. © 2016 American Cancer Society.

© 2016 American Cancer Society.


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