Does a Multidisciplinary Approach to Invasive Breast Cancer Care Improve Time to Treatment and Patient Compliance?

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Journal of the National Medical Association


PURPOSE: This study aimed to evaluate whether comprehensive multidisciplinary care (cMDC) for breast cancer patients affected time from diagnosis to treatment, compliance with appointments and to assess for racial disparities.

METHODS: This institutional review board approved retrospective study included adult patients diagnosed with invasive breast cancer between February 2015 and February 2017 and treated at an academic health system where the cMDC program was implemented in February 2016. The cMDC and non-cMDC groups as well as black and white patients were compared to assess time from diagnosis (date of pathology result indicating invasive breast cancer) to treatment (date of surgery or chemotherapy). Compliance was measured by appointments characterized as "no shows" or "canceled due to personal reasons" in the electronic medical record.

RESULTS: Of 541 patients (419 cMDC and 122 non-cMDC), mean time from diagnosis to treatment was significantly longer for blacks than whites in the non-cMDC group (46.9 ± 64.6 days vs 28.2 ± 14.8 days, p = 0.024) and the cMDC group (39.9 ± 34.1 days vs 31.4 ± 16.3 days, p = 0.001). Of 38 (7.2%) patients who started treatment > 60 days after diagnosis, 25 (65.8%) were black. Implementation of cMDC significantly improved patient compliance (missed appointments 4.9 ± 7.6 non-cMDC vs 3.2 ± 4.6 cMDC, p = 0.029).

CONCLUSION: Use of cMDC for invasive breast cancer at our institution highlighted an area for improvement for care administered to blacks and improved patient compliance with appointments.

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ePub ahead of print