A study led by researchers from the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina has discovered that in comparison to patients lacking continuity of care, individuals with continuity in their primary health care have lower mortality rates.
The study was published in the “Health Services Research” journal.
The lead author of the study, assistant professor Peiyin Hung of the University of South Carolina, stated that as the number of patients with cancer grows, a smooth transition in their care both before and after cancer diagnosis was necessary for the survival of patients in the long-term. Hung, who has specialized in health-services management and policy, explained that primary care physician care continuity was considered a good way to not only reduce the aggressiveness of any end-of-life treatment given but also improve cancer outcomes.
A long-term relationship between individuals together with their primary care doctors increases the likelihood that patients who have been diagnosed with cancer will be open about their preferences and values regarding treatment. The involvement of doctors on a continuous basis usually includes the enabling of information exchanges between care providers such as cancer treatment specialists and their patients. It has been demonstrated that this relationship can decrease the necessity of intense care during the end-of-life stage and improve patient survival.
This research adds on to prior research by evaluating the effect of primary care doctor care continuity among more than 80,000 patients on Medicare who suffer from different types of cancer, including nervous system, brain, bladder, esophagus, kidney, colorectal and lung cancers. Roughly 70% of the subjects involved in the study were non-Hispanic, non-Black, married and older, and reported primary care doctor continuity of treatment/care.
The researchers analyzed the data they had gathered, which led to the discovery that the patients with continual treatment/care provided by the same doctors had better survival rates, without raising the intensity of end-of-life care.
In addition to this, Hung explained that end-of-life care for individuals who had been diagnosed with advanced cancer wasn’t usually aligned with a patient’s preferences and was often aggressive.
The researchers note that a close relationship between a patient and their primary care physician may improve patient decision making as well as for the physicians plus other care/treatment providers like cancer specialists. Efforts to enhance primary care doctor continuity in providing care may be good for patients with cancer assessed to have a poor diagnosis, without growing their end-of-life treatment burdens.
Other researchers involved in the study include Shi-Yi Wang, Cary P. Gross, Craig E. Pollack and Laura D. Cramer, all from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Yale University School of Medicine.
Fortunately, cancer care is improving at a high rate. An example is the work being done by CNS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSP), which is focusing all its attention on developing novel remedies for primary plus metastatic cancers, especially those impacting the central nervous system as well as the brain.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to CNS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSP) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/CNSP
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