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Advance Directives for Patients With Breast Cancer: Applying the Right Info/Right Care/Right Patient/Right Time Oncology Model

Background Advance directives (AD) are an important component of life care planning for patients undergoing treatment for cancer; however, there are few effective interventions to increase AD rates. In this quality improvement project, the authors integrated AD counseling into a novel right info/right care/right patient/right time (4R) sequence of care oncology delivery intervention for breast cancer patients in an integrated health care delivery system. Methods The authors studied two groups of patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer who attended a multidisciplinary clinic and underwent definitive surgery at a single facility. The usual care (UC) cohort (N = 139) received care from October 1, 2019 to September 30, 2020. The 4R cohort (N = 141) received care from October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2121 that included discussing AD completion with a health educator prior to surgery. The authors used bivariate analyses to assess whether the AD intervention increased AD completion rates and to identify factors influencing AD completion. Results The UC and 4R cohorts were similar in age, gender, race/ethnicity, interpreter need, Elixhauser comorbidity index, National Comprehensive Cancer Network distress score ≥ 5, surgery type, stage, histology, grade, and Estrogen receptor/Progesterone receptor/ human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (ER/PR/HER2) status. AD completion rates prior to surgery were significantly higher for the 4R vs UC cohort (73.8%, 95% confidence interval [CI] [66.5%-81.0%] vs 15.1%, 95% CI [9.2%-21.1%], p < .01) and did not significantly differ by age, race, need for interpreter, or distress scores. Conclusion Incorporation of a health educator discussion into a 4R care sequence plan significantly increased rates of time-sensitive AD completion.

Authors: Ossowski, Stephanie;Linehan, Elizabeth;Ravelo, Arliene;Liu, Raymond;et al.

Perm J. 2023 Sep 15;27(3):30-36. Epub 2023-06-16.

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