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J Oncol Pract. 2011 Jan;7(1):31-8. doi: 10.1200/JOP.2010.000036.

Cancer portal project: a multidisciplinary approach to cancer care among Hispanic patients.

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1
New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

This study investigates the impact of a multilingual, multidisciplinary team targeting social and economic determinants of cancer treatment adherence among at-risk Hispanic immigrants.

METHODS:

Patients were recruited at 10 hospital-based cancer clinics in New York City between December 2008 and November 2009. This is a nested cohort study of Hispanic patients and their sociodemographic characteristics, areas of needed assistance, and reported impact of meeting service needs on keeping appointments. At the core of the intervention is the trained, bilingual Portal Access Facilitator, who assesses needs and synchronizes an individualized set of transdisciplinary services for each patient.

RESULTS:

A total of 328 Hispanic patients participated in the study. Of these, 89% preferred to speak Spanish in the health care setting, and 17% had no health insurance. The most common cancer diagnosis among participants was breast cancer (35%) followed by GI (17%) and gynecologic (16%) cancers. Patients most commonly requested financial support (59%), food support (37%), transportation assistance (21%), social work services (14%), psychosocial support (6%), help with health insurance issues (5%), and legal services (5%). In a follow-up assessment of high-need patients in urgent need of financial support, 86% reported that portal services helped them attend cancer care and treatment appointments, and 72% reported that portal services decreased worry about their care.

CONCLUSION:

Most patients reported that financial, social, and logistical support would help them attend their appointments for cancer care and treatment. Further multidisciplinary interventions should be implemented and evaluated to address social and economic determinants in cancer care for this population.

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