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ALTG 12/003 Chemotherapy Utilisation for Malignant Mesothelioma (CUMM)

Stage 1 of this study demonstrated that the rate of chemotherapy uptake amongst people diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is around 54%, whereas evidence-based guidelines for MPM suggest the optimal rate of chemotherapy utilisation should be around 65%. The aim of this study was to explore the reasons for this difference in chemotherapy use.

Stage 2 of the study involved interviewing 70 people about their views on chemotherapy use and treatment decision-making across patients, caregivers, nurses and a range of medical specialties.

These interviews identified a range of potential barriers to accessing chemotherapy. The results were used to develop quantitative questionnaires (Stage 3) for patients, caregivers, doctors, and nurses which investigated management of MPM on a broad scope. An online version of the survey was available for participants to complete or they could nominate to have a hard copy of it mailed to them with a reply-paid envelope. Patient and caregiver participants were recruited through the Dust Diseases Board NSW, mesothelioma support groups, clinicians treating MPM patients and other groups involved with mesothelioma. Healthcare professionals treating patients with MPM were invited to complete the questionnaire through professional organisations and specialist colleges.

Data were collected from January to September 2014. Surveys were completed by:

 

  • 78 people with MPM;
  • 106 caregivers;
  • 107 doctors (53 Respiratory Physicians, 37 Medical Oncologists, 7 Radiation Oncologist, 3 Palliative Care Physicians, 3 Thoracic Surgeons and 4 “Other”); and
  • 19 specialist nurses.

 

The data are currently being analysed and the results from the study will be presented at conferences over the coming months. A publication is also currently being prepared.

We are very grateful to the ALTG for the strong level of support they have provided to the study and we would like to thank all the ALTG members who participated in the project by giving their time to be interviewed and/or completing the survey.

Investigators: Dr Steven Kao, A/Prof. Janette Vardy, Dr Haryana Dhillon, Dr Prunella Blinman

Study Coordinator: Ms Anne Warby

(anne.warby@sydney.edu.au)