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Timely access to care in the treatment of rectal cancer and the effect on quality of life.

Journal article
Authors Sofie Walming
Mattias Block
David Bock
Eva Angenete
Published in Colorectal Disease
Volume 20
Issue 2
Pages 126–133
ISSN 1462-8910
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Surgery
Pages 126–133
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1111/codi.13836
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...
Subject categories Surgery

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate if a delay in a patient's first contact with a health care professional, and any subsequent delay in diagnosis, affected self-assessed quality of life prior to start of treatment for rectal cancer.Questionnaires were administered when the patients had been informed of the diagnosis and planned treatment. The primary endpoint was self-assessed quality of life according to a seven-point Likert scale. The response variables were dichotomized and analysed by unadjusted and adjusted binary logistic regression.Reported duration of symptoms longer than 4 months, was found to be associated with lower quality of life compared with reported duration of symptoms shorter than 3 months. Furthermore, a reported period of longer than two months from first contact with a health care professional to a diagnosis was found to correlate with lower quality of life compared with a period shorter than two months. However, when adjusting for possible confounding variables the duration of symptoms and time to diagnosis were not found to affect self-assessed quality of life. Several variables were found to have significant influence in the statistical model including sense of coherence, the presence of negative intrusive thoughts, comorbidity, depressed mood and palliative intention of treatment.One conclusion of the results of our study is that further efforts to shorten delay in rectal cancer care aiming to improve quality of life may be futile. To improve the patient's quality of life at diagnosis other interventions should be considered, such as screening for depression and/or negative intrusive thoughts. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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