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Determinants of Rectal Cancer Patients' Decisions on Where to Receive Surgery: a Qualitative Analysis.
Charlton ME, Shahnazi AF, Gribovskaja-Rupp I, Hunter L, Mengeling MA, Chrischilles EA, Lynch CF, Ward MM. Determinants of Rectal Cancer Patients' Decisions on Where to Receive Surgery: a Qualitative Analysis. Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery : Official Journal of The Society For Surgery of The Alimentary Tract. 2019 Jul 1; 23(7):1461-1473.
Current literature suggests surgeons who perform large volumes of rectal cancer resections achieve superior outcomes, but only about half of rectal cancer resections are performed by high-volume surgeons in comprehensive hospitals. Little is known about the considerations of patients with rectal cancer when deciding where to receive surgery.
A purposive sample of stage II/III rectal adenocarcinoma survivors diagnosed 2013-2015 were identified through the Iowa Cancer Registry and interviewed by telephone about factors influencing decisions on where to receive rectal cancer surgery.
Fifteen survivors with an average age of 63 were interviewed: 60% were male, 53% resided in non-metropolitan areas, and 60% received surgery at low-volume facilities. Most patients considered surgeon volume and experience to be important determinants of outcomes, but few assessed it. Recommendation from a trusted source, usually a physician, appeared to be a main determinant of where patients received surgery. Patients who chose low-volume centers noted comfort and familiarity as important decision factors.
Most rectal cancer patients in our sample relied on physician referrals to decide where to receive surgery. Interventions facilitating more informed decision-making by patients and referring providers may be warranted.