Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Does The Distance A Patient Has To Travel Affect Where They Choose To Get Their Care?

Date:
September 14, 2009
Source:
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Summary:
Do patients choose where to get their care based on how long it takes to them to get there? Researchers have recently documented a growing trend in the centralization of cancer surgery -- more patients seeking care at high volume centers, which are generally located in metropolitan areas.

Do patients choose where to get their care based on how long it takes to them to get there? Researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center have recently documented a growing trend in the centralization of cancer surgery—more patients seeking care at high volume centers, which are generally located in metropolitan areas. While trends like this should improve patient outcomes, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology shows that there are still a good number of patients who will not travel a long distance to get their care.

"Based on results of previous studies, patient outcomes should be improved with centralization of cancer surgery, however, we are concerned that the long distances patients may need to travel will serve as a barrier to access to high volume centers," says Karyn Stitzenberg, M.D., M.P.H., who led the study while at Fox Chase and is currently adjunct assistant professor for the Department of Health Policy and Management at University of North Carolina. "Centralization at high volume centers comes with a cost, as some patients may need to travel long distances to reach high volume centers. These increased travel distances may pose a significant barrier to quality cancer care for some subsets of the population."

The study used discharge data from 1996-2006 for hospitals in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Patients ages 18 and over who were treated with surgery for colorectal, esophageal or pancreatic cancer were included. Over 272,000 procedures met criteria for inclusion in the study, specifically 5,273 esophageal, 13,472 pancreatic, 202,879 colon and 51,262 rectal procedures.

A shift from low volume to high volume centers occurred to varying degrees for esophageal, pancreatic and colon cancer procedures. The change was the greatest for esophageal and pancreatic cancer, which are less common than cancers of the colon and rectum. In contrast to 1996, the vast majority of procedures for these less common cancers are now performed at high volume centers.

Among the study population, travel distance increased for all patients, but more so for patients with less common cancers. For example, travel distance increased 72 percent for patients with esophageal cancer, compared to 17 percent for patients with colon cancer.

"Our study demonstrated that the increase in travel distance was a direct result of the trend toward centralization at high volume centers," adds Elin Sigurdson, M.D. Ph.D., F.A.C.S., head of surgical research at Fox Chase and co-author on the study. "This study also confirms what others have found, that disparities of cancer care exist. Since disadvantaged patients are more likely to remain at low volume centers, we worry that travel may increasingly serve as a barrier for these patients, especially during tough economic times."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fox Chase Cancer Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fox Chase Cancer Center. "Does The Distance A Patient Has To Travel Affect Where They Choose To Get Their Care?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090831212958.htm>.
Fox Chase Cancer Center. (2009, September 14). Does The Distance A Patient Has To Travel Affect Where They Choose To Get Their Care?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090831212958.htm
Fox Chase Cancer Center. "Does The Distance A Patient Has To Travel Affect Where They Choose To Get Their Care?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090831212958.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) — The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) — Health officials warn that without further intervention, the number of Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone could reach 1.4 million by January. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

AFP (Sep. 23, 2014) — The number of Ebola infections will triple to 20,000 by November, soaring by thousands every week if efforts to stop the outbreak are not stepped up radically, the WHO warned in a study on Tuesday. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) — No surprise here: A recent study says men can reduce their risk of heart attack by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes daily exercise. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins