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Medicina (Buenos Aires)

Print version ISSN 0025-7680On-line version ISSN 1669-9106


TRIPODORO, Vilma A. et al. New embracing approach for better advanced cancer patient comprehensive care. Medicina (B. Aires) [online]. 2023, vol.83, n.2, pp.241-255. ISSN 0025-7680.

Introduction: Cancer patients have multiple and complex needs. Argentina has a medium-high cancer in cidence. Only 14% of patients with palliative care needs have access to specialized services. This study aimed to develop and implement an integrated cancer care model in three hospitals and at home based care level.

Methods: The NECPAL2 was a prospective longitudi nal observational study. We report a two-year health care intervention and its implementation process. The NECPAL tool was used as a screening instrument. Adult cancer patients were recruited and assessed. NECPAL+ patients are those with a positive surprise question - Would you be surprised if this patient dies in the next year? (no)- and, at least one indicator of advanced disease. Patients were reassessed periodically with validated scales. Feedback was given for clinical case management. The project was developed in three consecutive stages and six phases. Data were collected for statistical analysis with a prognosis and palliative approach.

Results: 2104 cancer patients screened. 681 were NECPAL+. 21% of them presented more than six pa rameters of severity or progression. The mean general survival was 8 months. 61.9% died within the follow-up period. Survival predictors were identified. Over 65% of patients were referred to palliative care; 10% received home-care. Areas for improvement were recognized. An implementation document was created.

Discussion: This study showed that a predictive model is feasible, improving chances for timely referral and needs approach. It provided the basis for further implementation research and should encourage policy makers for embracing palliative model development for better cancer patient care.

Keywords : Palliative care; Advanced cancer; Public health; Prognosis.

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