Description of Sample

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The medical oncologists reported on the types of cancers that they treat (Figure A1). Note that they could check as many boxes in the survey as needed. The responses were fairly high across the types listed. The advisory board expressed surprise at this, most notably regarding how high the percentage for the Sarcoma category was. It was noted that most medical oncologists in the academic setting specialize, and within the sample surveyed most (ie, 64%) of respondents worked in an academic setting. The advisory panel suggested that the phrasing of the question may have skewed the results seen here, and suggested in the future that the options given be: solid tumor (possibly broken down by organ type), hematology, and mixed.

Figure A1.  Types of cancers treated.

The number of types of cancer selected was also analyzed (Figure A2), with only 13% of medical oncologists choosing 1 type of cancer, which would indicate specialization. The largest number of respondents chose all 6 cancer types. Note, however, that this does not reflect the frequency of certain cancer types. For many community physicians, for example, they may be the only providers of cancer care in their area and do indeed treat all cancer types, albeit with differing frequencies.

Figure A2. Number of types of cancer selected.

Most (48%) of respondents indicated that 26% to 50% of the patients they treat are older than 70 years of age (Figure A3). At this point in the survey, any participants that answered 0% were exited from the survey to ensure that respondents were treating geriatric patients and could provide useful feedback.

Figure A3. Percentage of geriatric patients.

A little over half of the survey respondents reported that their electronic health record system assisted with therapy selection (Figure A4). Both the members of the advisory board and the interview panel described frustration with the electronic health record systems they were required to use. The 2 main themes that emerged were that the systems were more focused on safety precautions, many of which do not apply to their patients and are seen as a hindrance. One advisory board member described having “warning fatigue”. Another theme was that the programs lacked certain desirable aspects. For instance, due to copyright issues, links to publications of clinical trials describing treatment regimens of interest could not be included.