Enthusiasm, Opinion Leaders, Comparative Advantage, and the Uptake Of Laparoscopic Resection For Colorectal Cancer Liver Metastases in Ontario, Canada: A Population-Based Cohort Study
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BACKGROUND: Numerous factors likely influence adoption of surgical innovations in large regions. We considered the role of comparative advantage, surgeon enthusiasm, and opinion leaders on uptake of minimally invasive liver resection (MILR) for colorectal cancer (CRC) metastases in Ontario. METHODS: We used administrative data for patients undergoing liver resection for CRC metastases from years 2006-2015. Fourteen regions were divided into three groups based on overall rate of MILR for CRC metastases. Outcomes included postoperative complications, length of hospital stay (LOS), operative mortality, and 1-year survival. We evaluated uptake of MILR among groups and within groups between opinion leader and nonopinion leader surgeons. RESULTS: There were 2675 patients in the low-rate (n = 937), medium-rate (n = 919), and high-rate (n = 819) groups. In these same groups, the number of opinion leader surgeons was six, five, and six. Patient outcomes were similar among groups, except in the low-rate group LOS was 1 day greater (7 vs. 6 and 6; p = 0.017). The rate of MILR for CRC metastases did not change significantly among opinion leaders in any group. This rate among nonopinion leader surgeons was steady and low in the low-rate group (1.7-8.0%, p = 0.80) and increased in the mid-rate group (2.4-31.8%, p = 0.0026) and in the high-rate group (7.7-40.9%, p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Greater use of MILR was associated with a 1-day shorter LOS. Relative enthusiasm for MILR for CRC metastases among a small number of opinion leader surgeons likely facilitated or dampened uptake of this complex innovation.