Navigation Links
Millions of Euros could be saved if breast cancer follow-ups were led by specialist nurses
Date:4/18/2008

Berlin, Germany: Follow-up care for breast cancer patients costs less if it is conducted by nurses rather than physicians, yet there is no difference in the patients anxiety, depression, satisfaction or outcome, according to research presented today (Friday) at the 6th European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC-6) in Berlin.

The study found that over a five-year period the cost of follow-up care was 630 per person per year for patients who saw a physician and 495 per person per year for those who saw specialist cancer nurses. Over a five-year period this made a difference of 866 per patient a modest saving per patient, but one that would enable substantial savings to be made in a countrys health budget as breast cancer is the most prevalent tumour worldwide.

Dr IngaLill Koinberg, who is both a nurse and medical doctor at the Department of Research and Development, Hospital Varberg and Kristianstad University, Sweden, said: These results showed that follow-up led by specialist nurses, with check-ups on demand, were 20% less expensive than routine follow-up visits to the physician. The main difference in cost between physician-led follow-up and nurse-led follow-up was explained by the number of visits to the physician. There were 21% more contacts with the physician in the physician group than in the nurse group.

Dr Koinberg and her colleagues randomised 264 breast cancer patients to two different follow-up groups in a prospective trial. Women in the physician group had routine medical follow-ups by a physician, involving four visits per year in the first two years, then examinations twice a year for up to five years, and annually thereafter. In the nurse group, patients saw a specialist nurse three months after the initial visit to the physician following radiotherapy. They were told how to recognise recurrence in the breast, skin, axillary nodes and scar tissue, and to telephone the nurse if they had any questions or symptoms of cancer recurrence. In addition, they had an annual mammography, and after three years they were referred back to the routine mammography screening programme.

The researchers found that the women in the two groups did not differ in terms of anxiety, depression, their satisfaction with care, how accessible they found the medical centre, or in medical outcomes measured by rates of cancer recurrence or death.

The difference in cost per year and per patient between the physician and nurse groups is modest, but transforms to nearly 900 per patient and five-year period, offering a substantial opportunity for reallocating resources since breast cancer is the most prevalent tumour worldwide said Dr Koinberg. Follow-up for breast cancer and cancer follow-up in general is an important area for developing new, less costly alternatives, so that scarce resources can be used more effectively. Our study indicates that follow-up after primary cancer treatment is an area where economic evaluation can be worthwhile.

She gave an example of the difference nurse-led follow-up could make in Sweden. If we estimate that 50% of the 60,000 women with prevalent breast cancer in Sweden are under active follow-up, the savings for Sweden alone would amount to 4.1 million per year if the findings of this study were applied.

Dr Koinberg concluded that individual countries needed to have coherent discussions about how they organised the follow-up of cancer patients. The majority of women treated within the last five years attend a follow-up programme. Thus, in total, these follow-up programmes consume large resources, even if the individual patient consultation entails only limited expense. Since there is no generally accepted strategy for a follow-up programme, these vary in their design from region to region and centre to centre. Recent research* has indicated that more intensive follow-up does not increase medical safety. Furthermore, there are indications that good quality programmes can be run with trained nurses. Despite the high total amount of resources spent on follow-up programmes and the indications that several alternative approaches could be used effectively, there is no coherent discussion about costs and/or cost-effectiveness of follow-up programmes.


'/>"/>

Contact: Emma Mason
wordmason@mac.com
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Better Hearing Institute Kicks Off the Across America Hearing Check Challenge for Better Hearing and Speech Month, Bringing Better Quality of Life Back to Millions of Americans
2. Research could put penicillin back in battle against antibiotic resistant bugs that kill millions
3. Enhanced U.S. Efforts to Fight Tropical Disease Offer Hope to Millions of Patients
4. Asthma Foundation Expands Certification Program to be Friendly to Millions More
5. ABA Conference in Chicago Provides Litigators First Look at DNA Technology That Can Save Millions in Workers Comp and Toxic Tort Cases
6. 32nd Annual Hutch Holiday Gala Raises Millions for Cancer Research
7. Mitts Millions Cant Buy Iowans Health Care Reform
8. Thanks to Homecare, Millions of Older Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving and Other Holidays at Home
9. Report Shows Millions May Be Driving with Uncorrected Visual Impairments
10. TransMedia Group to Open Curtain on Innovative Hospital Bed Curtain that Will Save Millions in Maintenance
11. Saving Millions of Childrens Lives Is Possible
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Quality metrics are proliferating ... many ways they remain in the eye of the beholder, according to experts who ... of The American Journal of Managed Care. For the full issue, click here ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Orion, Clarkston, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 26, ... ... with respect to fertility once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women ... intercourse but they also require a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of independent freestanding emergency ... its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to announce Dr. Ogunleye ... M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. , Dr. Ogunleye ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article ... are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now more ... these less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced ... attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 ... received special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 ... Market by Type (Standard Pen Needles, Safety Pen Needles), ... (Insulin, GLP-1, Growth Hormone), Mode of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) ... MarketsandMarkets, This report studies the market for the forecast ... to reach USD 2.81 Billion by 2021 from USD ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  MedSource announced ... as its e-clinical software solution of choice.  This ... best possible value to their clients by offering ... The preferred relationship establishes nowEDC as the EDC ... for MedSource,s full-service clients.  "nowEDC has long been ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... a startling report released today, National Safety Council research ... proven plan to eliminate prescription opioid overdoses. Prescription Nation ... tackling the worst drug crisis in recorded U.S. history, assigned a ... , New Mexico , Tennessee ... failing states, three – Michigan , ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: