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Socioeconomic Determinants of the Use of Molecular Testing in Stage IV Colorectal Cancer

Punekar, Salman R; Griffin, Megan M; Masri, Lena; Roman, Stefanie D; Makarov, Danil V; Sherman, Scott E; Becker, Daniel J
OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:Treatment with epidermal growth factor receptor monoclonal antibodies extends life for patients with advanced colorectal cancers (CRCs) whose tumors exhibit wild-type KRAS, but KRAS testing may be underused. We studied the role of socioeconomic factors in the application of KRAS testing. MATERIALS AND METHODS/METHODS:We identified subjects with stage IV colorectal adenocarcinoma diagnosed 2010-2015 in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database. We used multivariable logistic regression models to evaluate associations between clinical/demographic factors and the rate of KRAS testing. We used multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazards models to assess survival. RESULTS:We identified 37,676 patients with stage IV CRC, 31.1% of whom were tested for KRAS mutations, of those who had documented KRAS testing, 44% were KRAS mutant. Patients were more likely to be tested if they were younger (odds ratio [OR]=5.10 for age 20 to 29 vs. 80+, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.99-6.54, P<0.01), diagnosed more recently (OR=1.92 for 2015 vs. 2010, 95% CI: 1.77-2.08, P<0.01), or lived in an area of high median household income (OR=1.24 for median household income of >$69,311 vs. <$49,265, 95% CI: 1.14-1.35, P<0.01). Patients were less likely to be tested if they had Medicaid (OR=0.83, 95% CI: 0.77-0.88, P<0.01) or were unmarried (OR=0.78, 95% CI: 0.75-0.82, P<0.0001). The risk of death was decreased in patients who received KRAS testing (hazard ratio=0.77, 95% CI: 0.75-0.80, P<0.01). CONCLUSIONS:We found a low rate of KRAS testing in CRC patients with those living in low-income areas less likely to be tested, even after controlling for Medicaid insurance. Our study suggests that socioeconomic disparities persist despite Medicaid insurance.
PMID: 34753883
ISSN: 1537-453x
CID: 5050402

Care transitions and social needs: A Geriatric Emergency care Applied Research (GEAR) Network scoping review and consensus statement

Gettel, Cameron J; Voils, Corrine I; Bristol, Alycia A; Richardson, Lynne D; Hogan, Teresita M; Brody, Abraham A; Gladney, Micaela N; Suyama, Joe; Ragsdale, Luna C; Binkley, Christine L; Morano, Carmen L; Seidenfeld, Justine; Hammouda, Nada; Ko, Kelly J; Hwang, Ula; Hastings, Susan N
OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:Individual-level social needs have been shown to substantially impact emergency department (ED) care transitions of older adults. The Geriatric Emergency care Applied Research (GEAR) Network aimed to identify care transition interventions, particularly addressing social needs, and prioritize future research questions. METHODS:GEAR engaged 49 interdisciplinary stakeholders, derived clinical questions, and conducted searches of electronic databases to identify ED discharge care transition interventions in older adult populations. Informed by the Protocol for Responding to and Assessing Patients' Assets, Risks, and Experiences (PRAPARE) framework, data extraction and synthesis of included studies included the degree that intervention components addressed social needs and their association with patient outcomes. GEAR convened a consensus conference to identify topics of highest priority for future care transitions research. RESULTS:Our search identified 248 unique articles addressing care transition interventions in older adult populations. Of these, 17 individual care transition intervention studies were included in the current literature synthesis. Overall, common care transition interventions included coordination efforts, comprehensive geriatric assessments, discharge planning, and telephone or in-person follow-up. Fourteen of the 17 care transition intervention studies in older adults specifically addressed at least one social need within the PRAPARE framework, most commonly related to access to food, medicine, or health care. No care transition intervention addressing social needs in older adult populations consistently reduced subsequent health care utilization or other patient-centered outcomes. GEAR stakeholders identified that determining optimal outcome measures for ED-home transition interventions was the highest priority area for future care transitions research. CONCLUSIONS:ED care transition intervention studies in older adults frequently address at least one social need component and exhibit variation in the degree of success on a wide array of health care utilization outcomes.
PMID: 34328674
ISSN: 1553-2712
CID: 5004122

Evaluation of neighborhood resources and mental health in American military Veterans using geographic information systems

Shin Park, Young; Wyman, Jean F; McMorris, Barbara J; Pruinelli, Lisiane; Song, Ying; Kaas, Merrie J; Sherman, Scott E; Fu, Steven
Neighborhood-level social determinants are increasingly recognized as factors shaping mental health in adults. Data-driven informatics methods and geographic information systems (GIS) offer innovative approaches for quantifying neighborhood attributes and studying their influence on mental health. Guided by a modification of Andersen's Behavioral Model of Health Service Use framework, this cross-sectional study examined associations of neighborhood resource groups with psychological distress and depressive symptoms in 1,528 U.S. Veterans. Data came from the Veteran Affairs (VA) Health Services Research and Development Proactive Mental Health trial and publicly available sources. Hierarchical clustering based on the proportions of neighborhood resources within walkable distance was used to identify neighborhood resource groups and generalized estimating equations analyzed the association of identified neighborhood resource groups with mental health outcomes. Few resources were found in walkable areas except alcohol and/or tobacco outlets. In clustering analysis, four meaningful neighborhood groups were identified characterized by alcohol and tobacco outlets. Living in an alcohol-permissive and tobacco-restrictive neighborhood was associated with increased psychological distress but not depressive symptoms. Living in urban or rural areas and access to VA care facilities were not associated with either outcome. These findings can be used in developing community-based mental health-promoting interventions and public health policies such as zoning policies to regulate alcohol outlets in neighborhoods. Augmenting community-based services with Veteran-specialized services in neighborhoods where Veterans live provides opportunities for improving their mental health.
PMID: 34976617
ISSN: 2211-3355
CID: 5106792

Prevalence of Psychoactive Substance Use Among Middle-aged and Older Adults With Visual Impairment in the US

Han, Benjamin H; Leddy, Jason F; Lopez, Francisco A; Palamar, Joseph J
PMID: 34762104
ISSN: 2168-6173
CID: 5050662

Defining Telepresence as Experienced in Telehealth Encounters: A Dimensional Analysis

Groom, Lisa L; Brody, Abraham A; Squires, Allison P
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:Telehealth's uptake has increased substantially in recent years, with an especially large jump in 2020 due to the emergence of COVID-19. This article provides background on and explores "telepresence" in healthcare literature. Telepresence strongly impacts the patient experience, but it is poorly defined in current research. The aim was to conceptually define telepresence using qualitative methods. DESIGN/METHODS:Dimensional analysis was used to analyze telepresence in clinical literature and create a clearer definition of telepresence as a concept. Multiple databases were searched for articles related to telepresence. Thirteen international articles related to telepresence were selected for analysis. METHODS:Dimensional analysis allowed for multiple viewpoints to be explored within each distinct context and perspective. FINDINGS/RESULTS:Twenty-five dimensions were discovered within the articles, which were synthesized to seven core dimensions of telepresence: connection, technological mediation, experienced realism, trust, being supportive, collaboration, and emotional consequence. CONCLUSIONS:Telepresence is highly impactful on the patient's experience of telehealth care visits. The conceptual map produced by this dimensional analysis provides direction for clinicians to improve their ability to be present with patients during telehealth care. Potential implications include a starting point for future qualitative research, and the use of this dimensional analysis to inform clinical guidelines, improve clinician training, and assist in the development of new care models. CLINICAL RELEVANCE/CONCLUSIONS:A telepresence definition brings clarity to an ill-defined concept. COVID-19 magnifies the need for a better understanding of telepresence, which allows clinicians to improve telehealth encounters.
PMID: 34060218
ISSN: 1547-5069
CID: 4895052

"There Is Something Very Personal About Seeing Someone's Face": Provider Perceptions of Video Visits in Home-Based Primary Care During COVID-19

Franzosa, Emily; Gorbenko, Ksenia; Brody, Abraham A; Leff, Bruce; Ritchie, Christine S; Kinosian, Bruce; Sheehan, Orla C; Federman, Alex D; Ornstein, Katherine A
The rapid deployment of video visits during COVID-19 may have posed unique challenges for home-based primary care (HBPC) practices due to their hands-on model of care and older adult population. This qualitative study examined provider perceptions of video visits during the first wave of the COVID-19 crisis in New York City (NYC) through interviews with HBPC clinical/medical directors, program managers, nurse practitioners/nurse managers, and social work managers (n = 13) at six NYC-area practices. Providers reported a combination of commercial (health system-supported) and consumer (e.g., FaceTime) technological platforms was essential. Video visit benefits included triaging patient needs, collecting patient information, and increasing scheduling capacity. Barriers included cognitive and sensory abilities, technology access, reliance on caregivers and aides, addressing sensitive topics, and incomplete exams. Effectively integrating video visits requires considering how technology can be proactively integrated into practice. A policy that promotes platform flexibility will be crucial in fostering video integration.
PMID: 34210200
ISSN: 1552-4523
CID: 5079872

Latent Class Analysis of Symptom Burden Among Seriously Ill Adults at the End of Life

Murali, Komal P; Yu, Gary; Merriman, John D; Vorderstrasse, Allison; Kelley, Amy S; Brody, Abraham A
BACKGROUND:Serious illness is characterized by high symptom burden that negatively affects quality of life (QOL). Although palliative care research has highlighted symptom burden in seriously ill adults with cancer, symptom burden among those with noncancer serious illness and multiple chronic conditions has been understudied. Latent class analysis is a statistical method that can be used to better understand the relationship between severity of symptom burden and covariates, such as the presence of multiple chronic conditions. Although latent class analysis has been used to highlight subgroups of seriously ill adults with cancer based on symptom clusters, none have incorporated multiple chronic conditions. OBJECTIVES:The objectives of this study were to (a) describe the demographic and baseline characteristics of seriously ill adults at the end of life in a palliative care cohort, (b) identify latent subgroups of seriously ill individuals based on severity of symptom burden, and (c) examine variables associated with latent subgroup membership, such as QOL, functional status, and the presence of multiple chronic conditions. METHODS:A secondary data analysis of a palliative care clinical trial was conducted. The latent class analysis was based on the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System, which measures nine symptoms on a scale of 0-10 (e.g., pain, fatigue, nausea, depression, anxiousness, drowsiness, appetite, well-being, and shortness of breath). Clinically significant cut-points for symptom severity were used to categorize each symptom item in addition to a categorized total score. RESULTS:Three latent subgroups were identified (e.g., low, moderate, and high symptom burden). Lower overall QOL was associated with membership in the moderate and high symptom burden subgroups. Multiple chronic conditions were associated with statistically significant membership in the high symptom burden latent subgroup. Older adults between 65 and 74 years had a lower likelihood of moderate or high symptom burden subgroup membership compared to the low symptom burden class. DISCUSSION:Lower QOL was associated with high symptom burden. Multiple chronic conditions were associated with high symptom burden, which underlines the clinical complexity of serious illness. Palliative care at the end of life for seriously ill adults with high symptom burden must account for the presence of multiple chronic conditions.
PMID: 34393192
ISSN: 1538-9847
CID: 5045802

The impact of a Friendly Telephone Calls program on visits with physicians during pandemic [Letter]

Blachman, Nina L; Lee, Yi Shan; Arcila-Mesa, Mauricio; Ferris, Rosie; Chodosh, Joshua
PMID: 34337742
ISSN: 1532-5415
CID: 5107692

Protocol: A multi-modal, physician-centered intervention to improve guideline-concordant prostate cancer imaging

Makarov, Danil V; Ciprut, Shannon; Kelly, Matthew; Walter, Dawn; Shedlin, Michele G; Braithwaite, Ronald Scott; Tenner, Craig T; Gold, Heather T; Zeliadt, Steven; Sherman, Scott E
BACKGROUND:Almost half of Veterans with localized prostate cancer receive inappropriate, wasteful staging imaging. Our team has explored the barriers and facilitators of guideline-concordant prostate cancer imaging and found that (1) patients with newly diagnosed prostate cancer have little concern for radiographic staging but rather focus on treatment and (2) physicians trust imaging guidelines but are apt to follow their own intuition, fear medico-legal consequences, and succumb to influence from imaging-avid colleagues. We used a theory-based approach to design a multi-level intervention strategy to promote guideline-concordant imaging to stage incident prostate cancer. METHODS:We designed the Prostate Cancer Imaging Stewardship (PCIS) intervention: a multi-site, stepped wedge, cluster-randomized trial to determine the effect of a physician-focused behavioral intervention on Veterans Health Administration (VHA) prostate cancer imaging use. The multi-level intervention, developed according to the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) and Behavior Change Wheel, combines traditional physician behavior change methods with novel methods of communication and data collection. The intervention consists of three components: (1) a system of audit and feedback to clinicians informing individual clinicians and their sites about how their behavior compares to their peers' and to published guidelines, (2) a program of academic detailing with the goal to educate providers about prostate cancer imaging, and (3) a CPRS Clinical Order Check for potentially guideline-discordant imaging orders. The intervention will be introduced to 10 participating geographically distributed study sites. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS:This study is a significant contribution to implementation science, providing VHA an opportunity to ensure delivery of high-quality care at the lowest cost using a theory-based approach. The study is ongoing. Preliminary data collection and recruitment have started; analysis has yet to be performed. TRIAL REGISTRATION/ NCT03445559. Prospectively registered on February 26, 2018.
PMID: 34663435
ISSN: 1745-6215
CID: 5037252

Carcinogen Biomarkers in the Urine of Electronic Cigarette Users and Implications for the Development of Bladder Cancer: A Systematic Review

Bjurlin, Marc A; Matulewicz, Richard S; Roberts, Timothy R; Dearing, Bianca A; Schatz, Daniel; Sherman, Scott; Gordon, Terry; Shahawy, Omar El
CONTEXT/BACKGROUND:Use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) has rapidly increased despite unclear longitudinal health effects. Once thought to be a safer alternative to tobacco smoke, it is possible that e-cigarettes expose the user to similar carcinogenic byproducts during the vaping process. These toxicants are metabolized and excreted in the urine, and may have oncogenic implications for bladder urothelium. OBJECTIVE:To characterize and summarize known urinary carcinogenic biomarkers in e-cigarette users as they relate to the risk of developing bladder cancer. EVIDENCE ACQUISITION/METHODS:A systematic literature search was performed using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, and included PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL). Relevant articles published in peer-reviewed journals, through January 2019, that reported on urinary biomarkers in e-cigarettes users were included. Parent compounds and urinary biomarkers were classified according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans and cross referenced using the Collaborative on Health and the Environment, Toxicant and Disease Database to determine a link to bladder cancer, grouped by strength of evidence. EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS/RESULTS:Our initial search identified 1385 articles, 22 of which met final inclusion criteria and were included for analysis. In summation, these studies described 40 different parent compounds and four metals found in the urine of e-cigarette users. Since each parent compound can be metabolized several different ways, 63 unique toxicant or carcinogenic metabolite biomarkers were identified. Compared with nonuser controls, e-cigarette users had higher concentrations of urinary biomarkers of several carcinogenic compounds linked to bladder cancer. The majority of studies were limited by heterogeneous reporting and a dearth of control individuals who had never smoked. CONCLUSIONS:Biomarkers of carcinogens, several with a strong link to bladder cancer, are present in the urine of e-cigarette users. Long-term implications of urothelial exposure to these toxicants are unknown but concerning, given the similarities to tobacco smoke and its established relationship with bladder cancer. Further study on the urological safety of e-cigarettes is necessary. PATIENT SUMMARY/UNASSIGNED:Our review shows that several carcinogens that have a known link to bladder cancer are present in the urine of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) users. Further study on the urological safety of e-cigarettes is necessary.
PMID: 32192941
ISSN: 2588-9311
CID: 4353002