The care cascade following a supportive management intervention for patients presenting to a radiation oncology clinic

Kaycee Moshofsky, Anastacia Aripov, Eric Chang, Michelle Bednar, Peter Bennett, Susan Hedlund, Kiri Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Patients with cancer have many psychosocial needs, some of which may be addressed by implementation of a screening tool. However, it is unknown what ultimately happens (i.e., the “care cascade”) to patients following these interventions. The objective of this study was to evaluate the care cascade for patients following the implementation of a psychosocial needs screening tool. This was a prospective cohort study conducted at a university hospital radiation oncology clinic. Participants who were 18 years or older and presenting for their initial radiation oncology appointment were asked to complete a screening survey. From December 2019 to January 2021, 242 patients completed the survey. 70% of patients were seen for consideration of definitive therapy. 62% of patients checked “yes” to at least one item, most commonly supportive/palliative care (33%), exercise/PT (26%) and advance care planning (26%). Among definitive patients, the most common were supportive/palliative care (33%) and exercise/PT (26%). Among palliative patients, the most common were supportive/palliative care (42%) and advance care planning (32%). Participants were followed for 6 months after taking the survey. 74% of patients with a positive screening survey were contacted by a social worker and/or had a new referral placed with 47% of those patients ultimately attending a new appointment. Screening tools are commonly implemented to quickly identify needs in oncology patients. This study tracked patients following this type of intervention to determine what proportion of patients ultimately received care related to the identified need. Despite the majority of patients being referred to a relevant provider, fewer than half ultimately attended appointments. The combination of a screening tool with social work triage may be an effective way to distribute resources and properly route patients to supportive care providers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number22523
JournalScientific Reports
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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