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Title: Quality of care indicators for head and neck cancers: The experience of the European Project RARECAREnet
Author: Trama, Annalisa
Botta, Laura
Foschi, Roberto
Visser, Otto
Borràs Andrés, Josep Maria
Agar, Tina
Primic-Žakelj, Maja
Bella, Francesca
Dimitrova, Nadya
Gatta, Gemma
Licitra, Lisa
RARECAREnet High Resolution Working Group
Keywords: Càncer de coll
Càncer de cap
Indicadors de salut
Neck cancer
Head cancer
Health status indicators
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Frontiers Media
Abstract: Background: Monitoring and improving quality of cancer care has become pivotal today. This is especially relevant for head and neck cancers since the disease is complex, it needs multi therapy, patients tend to be older, they tend to have comorbidities and limited social support. However, information on quality of care for head and neck cancers is scarce. In the context of the project "Information Network on Rare Cancers" we aimed to identify indicators of quality of care specific for the head and neck cancers management and to measure the quality of care for head and neck cancers in different EU Member States. Methods: We defined indicators of quality of care for head and neck cancers based on a multidisciplinary and expert-based consensus process at a European level. To test the proposed indicators, we performed an observational population-based retrospective study in four countries (Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, and Slovenia) in the years 2009-2011. Results: The main quality indicators identified are: availability of formalized multidisciplinary team, participation in clinical and translational research; timeliness of care, high quality of surgery and radiotherapy, and of pathological reporting. For head and neck cancers, the quality of care did not reach the optimal standards in most of the countries analyzed. A high proportion of patients was diagnosed at an advanced disease stage, showed delays in starting treatment (especially for radiotherapy), and there was only a very limited use of multi therapy. Conclusions: According to the achieved consensus, indicators of quality of care for head and neck cancers have to cover the patient journey (i.e., diagnosis and treatment). Our results, showed suboptimal quality of care across countries and call for solutions for ensuring good quality of care for head and neck cancer patients in all EU countries. One possible option might be to refer head and neck cancer patients to specialized centers or to networks including specialized centers.
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It is part of: Frontiers In Oncology, 2019, vol. 9, p. 837
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ISSN: 2234-943X
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Ciències Clíniques)
Articles publicats en revistes (Institut d'lnvestigació Biomèdica de Bellvitge (IDIBELL))

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