Evidence-based Recommendations for Information and Care Planning in Cancer Care

Published In: Journal of Clinical Oncology, v. 26, no. 23, Aug. 10, 2008, p. 3896-3902

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2008

by Anne Walling, Karl Lorenz, Sydney Dy, Arash Naeim, Homayoon Sanati, Steven M. Asch, Neil S. Wenger

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The practice of oncology is characterized by challenging communication tasks that make it difficult to ensure optimal physician-patient information sharing and care planning. Discussions of diagnosis, prognosis, and patient goals are essential processes that inform decisions. However, data suggest that there are deficiencies in this area. The authors conducted a systematic review to identify the evidence supporting high-quality clinical practices for information and care planning in the context of cancer care as part of the RAND Cancer Quality-Assessing Symptoms, Side Effects, and Indicators of Supportive Treatment Project. Domains of information and care planning that are important for high-quality cancer care include integration of palliation into cancer care, advance care planning, sentinel events as markers for the need to readdress a patient's goals of care, and continuity of care planning. The standards presented here for information and care planning in cancer care should be incorporated into care pathways and should become the expectation rather than the exception.

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