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J Clin Oncol. 2013 Jul 20;31(21):2716-23. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2012.45.7473. Epub 2013 Jun 10.

Patient preference and contraindications in measuring quality of care: what do administrative data miss?

Author information

1
Administration Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, West Los Angeles, CA, USA. joan.j.ryoo@kp.org

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Prior studies report that half of patients with lung cancer do not receive guideline-concordant care. With data from a national Veterans Health Administration (VHA) study on quality of care, we sought to determine what proportion of patients refused or had a contraindication to recommended lung cancer therapy.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

Through medical record abstraction, we evaluated adherence to six quality indicators addressing lung cancer-directed therapy for patients diagnosed within the VHA during 2007 and calculated the proportion of patients receiving, refusing, or having contraindications to recommended treatment.

RESULTS:

Mean age of the predominantly male population was 67.7 years (standard deviation, 9.4 years), and 15% were black. Adherence to quality indicators ranged from 81% for adjuvant chemotherapy to 98% for curative resection; however, many patients met quality indicator criteria without actually receiving recommended therapy by having a refusal (0% to 14%) or contraindication (1% to 30%) documented. Less than 1% of patients refused palliative chemotherapy. Black patients were more likely to refuse or bear a contraindication to surgery even when controlling for comorbidity; race was not associated with refusals or contraindications to other treatments.

CONCLUSION:

Refusals and contraindications are common and may account for previously demonstrated low rates of recommended lung cancer therapy performance at the VHA. Racial disparities in treatment may be explained, in part, by such factors. These results sound a cautionary note for quality measurement that depends on data that do not reflect patient preference or contraindications in conditions where such considerations are important.

PMID:
23752110
PMCID:
PMC3709057
DOI:
10.1200/JCO.2012.45.7473
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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