Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Value, limitations of patient assistance programs for women with breast cancer

Date:
October 23, 2013
Source:
The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Summary:
Patient assistance programs can help breast cancer patients meet a variety of needs that can interfere with getting recommended adjuvant therapies such as radiation, chemotherapy, and hormonal treatments, according to a study.

Patient assistance programs can help breast cancer patients meet a variety of needs that can interfere with getting recommended adjuvant therapies such as radiation, chemotherapy, and hormonal treatments, according to a study published recently in the online edition of the Journal of Oncology Practice.

Most breast cancer patients who had information about patient assistance programs used them to learn more about adjuvant therapy, obtain psychosocial support, and overcome practical/financial obstacles to getting treatment, reported researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Researchers found that, in most cases, patients who were referred to assistance programs did contact organizations running programs, such as Cancer Care Inc., SHARE, and the Mount Sinai Breast Health Resources Program.

"Doctors have been frustrated by data showing that perhaps as many as 20 percent of women with breast cancer -- especially black and Hispanic women -- do not take advantage of lifesaving adjuvant therapies," said Nina Bickell, MD, MPH, Professor of Health Evidence and Policy and Professor of Medicine at Mount Sinai. "Some women lack critical information about the value of these treatments, while others need help dealing with the emotional aspects of breast cancer treatment or with practical matters such as transportation, insurance, or childcare before taking the next step. Fortunately, there are many high-quality patient assistance programs that can help women address these issues."

For the study, Dr. Bickell and her team recruited 374 women with early-stage breast cancer who had recently undergone breast surgery. The researchers conducted a brief assessment to identify women who needed information, psychosocial support, or help with practical issues that might affect access to treatment. Half of the women received a customized list of patient assistance programs, based on findings from the needs assessment, and an individualized action plan; the other half received a New York State Department of Health pamphlet about breast cancer that includes a list of local resources.

The vast majority of women in the study reported some type of need, regardless of the type of information they received. Nearly 80 percent of women who contacted a patient assistance program, had some or all of their needs met, compared with only 35 percent of those who did not connect with a program. The programs were particularly effective in meeting women's needs for information about adjuvant treatments or counseling. However, very few women in either group reported that they had obtained sufficient help in overcoming practical obstacles to treatment.

Most women in the study went on to get the adjuvant therapy recommended by their doctor. Treatment rates were nearly identical in both groups of women, regardless of the type of information they received.

"We were delighted to discover that most of the women in our study who needed some type of assistance had a successful encounter with a patient assistance program and got the treatments they needed," said Dr. Bickell. "Nevertheless, national statistics suggest that women in the U.S. continue to face economic and logistical barriers to getting adjuvant therapy for breast cancer. To ensure that patient assistance programs have the greatest impact on reducing national disparities in care, private philanthropies, which represent the biggest source of funding for these valuable programs, will be challenged to increase development in this area.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nina A. Bickell, Andrea N. Geduld, Kathie-Ann Joseph, Joseph A. Sparano, M. Margaret Kemeny, Soji Oluwole, Tehillah Menes, Anitha Srinivasan, Rebeca Franco, Kezhen Fei, and Howard Leventhal. Do Community-Based Patient Assistance Programs Affect the Treatment and Well-Being of Patients With Breast Cancer? Journal of Oncology Practice, October 2013

Cite This Page:

The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "Value, limitations of patient assistance programs for women with breast cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131023090948.htm>.
The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine. (2013, October 23). Value, limitations of patient assistance programs for women with breast cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131023090948.htm
The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "Value, limitations of patient assistance programs for women with breast cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131023090948.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
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:
from the past week

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