Greater Patient-Physician Communication Increases Surveillance Adherence

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(ChemotherapyAdvisor) – Patient-clinician information engagement after curative treatment for colorectal cancer resulted in 2.8 times the number of patients reporting adherence to recommended surveillance at 1 year, a longitudinal study reported in The Oncologist online August 2.

While several demographic and disease-related factors are known to be associated with adherence, “thus far, patient-centered communication has not been studied as a determinant for undergoing cancer surveillance,” Andy S.L. Tan, MBBS, MPH, MBA, Center of Excellence in Cancer Communication Research, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, and colleagues noted.

In this study, 305 patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2005 who were eligible for surveillance completed surveys at baseline and 1 year. Self-reported adherence to physical examination, carcinoembryonic antigen testing, and colonoscopy according to recommended guidelines comprised the primary outcome measure.

“Greater patient engagement with clinicians about cancer-related information was found to improve patients' subsequent adherence to recommended surveillance,” Dr. Tan reported. A higher education level and having received systemic therapy were also significant predictors of adhering to recommended surveillance.

The investigators concluded that these results support encouragement of greater patient-physician communication among patients with colorectal cancer.


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