Improving Referral of Patients for Consideration of Adjuvant Chemotherapy after Surgical Resection of Lung Cancer Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Background: Clinical trials demonstrate improved survival for patients with completely resected non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who receive adjuvant chemotherapy. Concerns have been raised about the implementation of those data. The present study measured rates of referral for adjuvant chemotherapy and barriers to referral, and it also evaluated a knowledge translation strategy to change practice. Methods: An audit and feedback approach was used. Using a retrospective cohort of patients undergoing thoracotomy at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, during January–December 2008, anonymized data were presented to a group of thoracic surgeons for evaluation and feedback. Results: Among 150 thoracotomies performed, 55 patients with NSCLC were potentially eligible for adjuvant chemotherapy, but only 27 (49%) were referred for it. Significant variability in referral between surgeons (19%–100%) was observed. Reasons for non-referral were poorly documented in the medical record, but appeared to be primarily the surgeon’s decision. The feedback session with surgeons produced a number of constructive suggestions to implement change in practice. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that surgeon choice was the most significant barrier to implementation of adjuvant chemotherapy for nsclc. Audit and feedback was a useful knowledge translation strategy. However, longer follow-up is needed to document change in practice.

publication date

  • December 2012