Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Clinical Trials
Minority groups are vastly underrepresented in clinical trial participants and leadership. Because these studies provide innovative and revolutionary treatment options to patients with cancer and have the potential to extend survival, it is imperative that public and private stakeholders, as well as hospital and clinical trial leadership, prioritize equity and inclusion of diverse populations in clinical trial development and recruitment strategies. Achieving equity in clinical trials could be an important step in reducing the overall cancer burden and mortality disparities in vulnerable populations.
Quality care is equitable care: a call to action to link quality to achieving health equity within acute care surgery [Editorial]
Health equity is defined as the sixth domain of healthcare quality. Understanding health disparities in acute care surgery (defined as trauma surgery, emergency general surgery and surgical critical care) is key to identifying targets that will improve outcomes and ensure delivery of high-quality care within healthcare organizations. Implementing a health equity framework within institutions such that local acute care surgeons can ensure equity is a component of quality is imperative. Recognizing this need, the AAST (American Association for the Surgery of Trauma) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee convened an expert panel entitled 'Quality Care is Equitable Care' at the 81st annual meeting in September 2022 (Chicago, Illinois). Recommendations for introducing health equity metrics within health systems include: (1) capturing patient outcome data including patient experience data by race, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, and gender identity; (2) ensuring cultural competency (eg, availability of language services; identifying sources of bias or inequities); (3) prioritizing health literacy; and (4) measuring disease-specific disparities such that targeted interventions are developed and implemented. A stepwise approach is outlined to include health equity as an organizational quality indicator.
ASO Author Reflections: Same but Different: Implications of Surgical Delays for Breast Cancer Patients Treated in NYC Public Hospitals During the COVID-19 Pandemic
ASO Visual Abstract: An Analysis of COVID-19 on Surgical Delays in Breast Cancer Patients in NYC Public Hospitals-A Multicenter Study
Effects of COVID-19 on Surgical Delays in Patients with Breast Cancer in NYC Public Hospitals: A Multicenter Study
BACKGROUND:Increased time to surgery (TTS) is associated with decreased survival in patients with breast cancer. In early 2020, elective surgeries were canceled to preserve resources for patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This study attempts to measure the effect of mandated operating room shutdowns on TTS in patients with breast cancer. PATIENTS AND METHODS/METHODS:This multicenter retrospective study compares 51 patients diagnosed with breast cancer at four public hospitals from January to June 2020 with 353 patients diagnosed from January 2017 to June 2018. Demographics, tumor characteristics, treatment regimens, and TTS for patients were statistically compared using parametric, nonparametric, and Cox proportional hazards regression modeling. RESULTS:Across all centers, there was a non-statistically significant increase in median TTS from 59 days in the pre-COVID period to 65 days during COVID (p = 0.9). There was, however, meaningful variation across centers. At center A, the median TTS decreased from 57 to 51 days, center C's TTS decreased from 83 to 64 days, and in center D, TTS increased from 42 to 129 days. In a multivariable Cox proportional hazards model for the pre-COVID versus COVID period effect on TTS, center was an important confounding variable, with notable differences for centers C and D compared with the referent category of center A (p = 0.04, p = 0.006). CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Data suggest that, while mandated operating room shutdowns did not result in an overall statistically significant delay in TTS, there were important differences between centers, indicating that, even in a unified multicenter public hospital system, COVID-19 may have resulted in delayed and potentially disparate care.
Addressing breast cancer surgical disparities using a community-clinical linkage patient navigation model strategy in a NYC hospital system [Editorial]
ASO Visual Abstract: The Role of Safety Net Hospitals in Reducing Disparities in Breast Cancer Care
Examination of Intersectionality and the Pipeline for Black Academic Surgeons
Importance/UNASSIGNED:The lack of underrepresented in medicine physicians within US academic surgery continues, with Black surgeons representing a disproportionately low number. Objective/UNASSIGNED:To evaluate the trend of general surgery residency application, matriculation, and graduation rates for Black trainees compared with their racial and ethnic counterparts over time. Design, Setting, and Participants/UNASSIGNED:In this nationwide multicenter study, data from the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) for the general surgery residency match and Graduate Medical Education (GME) surveys of graduating general surgery residents were retrospectively reviewed and stratified by race, ethnicity, and sex. Analyses consisted of descriptive statistics, time series plots, and simple linear regression for the rate of change over time. Medical students and general surgery residency trainees of Asian, Black, Hispanic or Latino of Spanish origin, White, and other races were included. Data for non-US citizens or nonpermanent residents were excluded. Data were collected from 2005 to 2018, and data were analyzed in March 2021. Main Outcomes and Measures/UNASSIGNED:Primary outcomes included the rates of application, matriculation, and graduation from general surgery residency programs. Results/UNASSIGNED:Over the study period, there were 71â€¯687 applicants, 26â€¯237 first-year matriculants, and 24â€¯893 graduates. Of 71â€¯687 applicants, 24â€¯618 (34.3%) were women, 16â€¯602 (23.2%) were Asian, 5968 (8.3%) were Black, 2455 (3.4%) were Latino, and 31â€¯197 (43.5%) were White. Women applicants and graduates increased from 29.4% (1178 of 4003) to 37.1% (2293 of 6181) and 23.5% (463 of 1967) to 33.5% (719 of 2147), respectively. When stratified by race and ethnicity, applications from Black women increased from 2.2% (87 of 4003) to 3.5% (215 of 6181) (Pâ€‰<â€‰.001) while applications from Black men remained unchanged (3.7% [150 of 4003] to 4.6% [284 of 6181]). While the matriculation rate for Black women remained unchanged (2.4% [46 of 1919] to 2.3% [52 of 2264]), the matriculation rate for Black men significantly decreased (3.0% [57 of 1919] to 2.4% [54 of 2264]; Pâ€‰=â€‰.04). Among Black graduates, there was a significant decline in graduation for men (4.3% [85 of 1967] to 2.7% [57 of 2147]; Pâ€‰=â€‰.03) with the rate among women remaining unchanged (1.7% [33 of 1967] to 2.2% [47 of 2147]). Conclusions and Relevance/UNASSIGNED:Findings of this study show that the underrepresentation of Black physicians at every stage in surgical training pipeline persists. Black men are especially affected. Identifying factors that address intersectionality and contribute to the successful recruitment and retention of Black trainees in general surgery residency is critical for achieving racial and ethnic as well as gender equity.
The Role of Safety-Net Hospitals in Reducing Disparities in Breast Cancer Care
Advances in breast cancer screening and systemic therapies have been credited with profound improvements in breast cancer outcomes; indeed, 5-year relative survival rate approaches 91% in the USA (U.S. National Institutes of Health NCI. SEER Training Modules, Breast). While breast cancer mortality has been declining, oncologic outcomes have not improved equally among all races and ethnicities. Many factors have been implicated in breast cancer disparities; chief among them is limited access to care which contributes to lower rates of timely screening mammography and, once diagnosed with breast cancer, lower rates of receipt of guideline concordant care (Wu, Lund, Kimmick GG et al. in J Clin Oncol 30(2):142-150, 2012). Hospitals with a safety-net mission, such as the essential hospitals, historically have been dedicated to providing high-quality care to all populations and have eagerly embraced the role of caring for the most vulnerable and working to eliminate health disparities. In this article, we review landmark articles that have evaluated the role safety-net hospitals have played in providing equitable breast cancer care including to those patients who face significant social and economic challenges.
ASO Author Reflections: Reinforcing the Safety Net: Supporting Safety-Net Hospitals in Mitigating Breast Cancer Disparities