Comprehensive assessment of the fitness of older people for chemotherapy

McCarthy, Alexandra L., Yates, Patsy, Skerman, Helen M., Cook, Peta S., Walpole, Euan, Thomson, Damien B, Salkield, Gayle, & Hausmann, Susan (2012) Comprehensive assessment of the fitness of older people for chemotherapy. In 23rd International Nursing Research Congress, Sigma Theta Tau International Honour Society of Nursing, Brisbane Convention Centre, Brisbane, QLD.

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Purpose: To present the results of a mixed-method study comparing the level of agreement of a two-phased, nurse-administered Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) with current methods that assess the fitness for chemotherapy of older cancer patients. A nurse-led model of multidisciplinary cancer care based on the results is also described.

Methods: The two phases comprised initial screening by a nurse with the Vulnerable Elders Survey-13 [VES-13], followed by nurse administration of a detailed CGA. Both phases were linked to a computerised algorithm categorising the patient as ‘fit’, ‘vulnerable’ or ‘frail’. The study determined the level of agreement between VES-13- and CGA-determined categories; and between the CGA and the physicians’ assessments. It also compared the CGA’s predictive abilities in terms of subsequent treatment toxicity; while interviews determined the acceptability of the nurse-led procedure from key stakeholders' perspectives.

Results: Data collection was completed in December 2011. The results will be presented at the conference. A consecutive-series n=170 will be enrolled, 33% of whom are ‘fit’; 33% ‘vulnerable’; and 33% ‘too frail’ for treatment. This sample can detect, with 90% power, kappa coefficients of agreement of ≥ 0.70 or higher (“substantial agreement”). Fitness sub-group comparisons of agreement between the medical oncologist and the nurse assessments can detect kappa estimates of Κ ≥ 0.80 with the same power.

The results have informed a nurse-led model of cancer care. It meets a clear need to develop, implement and test a nurse-led, robust, evidence-based, clinically-justifiable and economically-feasible CGA process that has relevance in national and international contexts.

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ID Code: 60769
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: comprehensive geriatric assessment, geriatric oncology
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Please consult author(s)/creators
Deposited On: 13 Jun 2013 22:43
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2013 14:37

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