(HealthDay News) — Patient-reported quality assessment measures reveal substantial gaps in patient-centered quality of colorectal cancer care, according to a study published online Feb 3 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Michelle van Ryn, PhD, MPH, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and colleagues used the Veterans Affairs Central Cancer Registry to identify all patients with a new diagnosis of colorectal cancer at any Veterans Health Administration medical center nationwide in 2008. Eligible patients (n = 1,109) answered a questionnaire regarding aspects of patient-centered cancer care.

RELATED: Gastrointestinal Cancers Resource Center

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The researchers found that there were significant gaps in patient-centered quality of supportive care, starting with symptom assessment. Symptoms affected the impact of clinical factors and patient race on the odds of receiving wanted help. Independent of patient demographic or clinical characteristics, the quality of coordination of care predicted receipt of wanted help for all symptoms.

RELATED: Supportive Care

“Improving quality measurement of supportive care and implementing patient-reported outcomes in quality-measurement systems are high priorities for improving the processes and outcomes of care for patients with cancer,” the researchers wrote.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.


  1. van Ryn M, Phelan SM, Arora NK, et al.Patient-Reported Quality of Supportive Care Among Patients With Colorectal Cancer in the Veterans Affairs Health Care System. J Clin Oncol. 2014;doi: 10.1200/JCO.2013.49.4302.