Integration of patient-reported outcomes (PROs) for personalized symptom management in “real-world” oncology practices: a population-based cohort comparison study of impact on healthcare utilization
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BACKGROUND: The use of patient-reported outcomes (PROs) for routine cancer distress screening is endorsed globally as a quality-care standard. However, there is little research on the integration of PROs in "real-world" oncology practices using implementation science methods. The Improving Patient Experience and Health Outcome Collaborative (iPEHOC) intervention was established at multisite disease clinics to facilitate the use of PRO data by clinicians for precision symptom care. The aim of this study was to examine if patients exposed to the intervention differed in their healthcare utilization compared with contemporaneous controls in the same time frame. METHODS: We used a PRE- and DURING-intervention population cohort comparison study design to estimate the effects of the iPEHOC intervention on the difference in difference (DID) for relative rates (RR) for emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, psychosocial oncology (PSO), palliative care visits, and prescription rates for opioids and antidepressants compared with controls. RESULTS: A small significantly lower Difference in Difference (DID) (- 0.223) in the RR for ED visits was noted for the intervention compared with controls over time (0.947, CI 0.900-0.996); and a DID (- 0.0329) for patients meeting ESAS symptom thresholds (0.927, CI 0.869-0.990). A lower DID in palliative care visits (- 0.0097), psychosocial oncology visits (- 0.0248), antidepressant prescriptions (- 0.0260) and an increase in opioid prescriptions (0.0456) in the exposed population compared with controls was also noted. A similar pattern was shown for ESAS as a secondary exposure variable. CONCLUSION: Facilitating uptake of PROs data may impact healthcare utilization but requires examination in larger scale "real-world" trials.
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