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INTRODUCTION - Adults undergoing oncologic resections at low-volume centers experience increased perioperative morbidity and mortality. The volume-outcome effect has not been extensively studied in pediatric oncologic resections.
METHODS - To clarify volume-outcome effects in pediatric oncologic resections, we analyzed resection of renal malignancies in children less than 15 y of age. We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of hospital discharges included in the health care utilization project kids' inpatient database from 1997 to 2009, examining in-hospital operative complications, length of stay (LOS), and inflation-adjusted hospital charges. Hospital volume was expressed as low (n = 1-2), medium (n = 3-4), and high (n > 4) annual volume of resections.
RESULTS - One thousand five hundred thirty-eight patients underwent renal malignancy resection. Of these, 527 patients had resection in low-, 422 in medium-, and 589 in high-volume hospitals. Relative to low-volume hospitals, those resected in medium-volume hospitals had an odds ratio of 0.62 (95% confidence interval 0.39-0.99, P = 0.046) for operative complication and those in high-volume hospitals had an odds ratio of 1.02 (95% confidence interval 0.63-1.65, P = 0.95). There was no detectable association with LOS (P = 0.113) or inflation-adjusted charges (P = 0.331).
CONCLUSIONS - The number of complications, total charges, and LOS attributable to resection of a childhood renal malignancy did not differ among high-, medium-, or low-operative volume hospitals, although oncologic outcomes could not be determined because of the limited nature of this administrative database.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PURPOSE - To describe survivorship services provided by the Children's Oncology Group (COG), an assessment of services was undertaken. Our overall aims were (1) to describe survivorship services, including the extent of services provided, resources (personnel, philanthropy, and research funding), billing practices, and barriers to care and 2) to describe models of care that are in use for childhood cancer survivors and adult survivors of childhood cancer.
METHODS - One hundred seventy-nine of 220 COG institutions (81%) completed an Internet survey in 2007.
RESULTS - One hundred fifty-five (87%) reported providing survivorship care. Fifty-nine percent of institutions provide care for their pediatric population in specialized late effects programs. For adult survivors, 47% of institutions chose models of care, which included transitioning to adult providers for risk-based health care, while 44% of institutions keep survivors indefinitely at the treating institution (Cancer Center Based Model without Community Referral). Sixty-eight percent provide survivors with a copy of their survivorship care plan. Only 31% of institutions provide a detailed summary of results after each clinic visit, and 41% have a database to track survivor health outcomes. Minimal time required for initial and annual survivorship visits is estimated to be approximately 120 and 90 min, respectively. The most prevalent barriers to care were the lack of dedicated time for program development and a perceived insufficient knowledge on the part of the clinician receiving the transition referral.
CONCLUSIONS - Not all COG institutions provide dedicated survivorship care, care plans, or have databases for tracking outcomes. Transitioning to adult providers is occurring within the COG. Survivorship care is time intensive.
BACKGROUND - Functional decline in Brazilian patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is associated with impaired recovery, quality of life, and health care costs.
METHODS - Sixty patients enrolled at the regional oncology center in Curitiba, Brazil, were assessed over 6 months for toxicities, nutritional status, anthropometry, fatigue, stress, and functionality.
RESULTS - Severe mid-arm and mid-calf circumference depletion accompanied weight loss. Total fatigue score increased 64% (p < .001), as did perceived stress and serum cortisol (p = .01). Instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) dependence doubled, and activities of daily living (ADL) dependence quadrupled (p < .001). Difficulty chewing or swallowing, weight loss, fatigue, perceived stress, and IADL dependence accounted for 48.2% of ADL dependence.
CONCLUSIONS - The physical and psychological impact of HNSCC and its treatment are universally experienced; yet, screening and intervention for symptoms such as fatigue and stress are not typical clinical practice. Moreover, assessment of functional status is usually limited to chewing and swallowing. This study identified symptoms that require systematic intervention and randomized trials with functional independence as the outcome.
In conclusion, the nurse caring for the patient with cancer must be acutely aware of the risk of infection. Many interventions are used in attempts to minimize or prevent infection. Once the patient becomes neutropenic, the risk of life-threatening infection increases dramatically. All nursing care is focused on treating infection and supporting the patient until bone marrow function returns.