Older hepatocellular carcinoma patients less knowledgeable about survivorship issues
Older patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) appear to know less about survivorship issues, according to a study involving a population of 110 ethnically diverse HC survivors.
“As the incidence and survival for HCC increase, the number of patients having been treated for liver cancer would be expected to increase as well,” the authors said. “Little is known about the experience of the survivors of HCC.”
A three-tool survey of HCC survivors was thus carried out at a large, academic, and tertiary referral medical centre to assess potential areas of disparities in the survivorship experience. The instruments sought to gauge knowledge of survivorship issues (Perceived Efficacy in Patient‐Physician Interactions Questionnaire-1), preparedness for the survivorship experience (Perceived Efficacy in Patient‐Physician Interactions Questionnaire-2), and self-efficacy in procuring medical information while navigating the patient-provider relationship (Perceived Efficacy in Patient‐Physician Interactions Questionnaire).
The authors compared mean test scores for each instrument by patient characteristics, with higher scores indicating a more positive response. They also examined associations between survey scores and sociodemographics using a linear regression model.
A total of 110 patients completed at least one survey. The multiple linear regression model showed a decrease in knowledge of survivorship issues by a score of 1.3 (p=0.02) for every increase in patient age by 10 years. No significant differences were found between male and female respondents, English and non-English speakers, and liver and nonliver transplant recipients.
Survivors who had completed a 4-year college degree had significantly higher knowledge of survivorship issues than those who did not. However, this finding did not reach statistical significance in the multiple linear regression model.
“Particular attention should be paid to older populations during liver cancer treatment,” the authors said.