Overall goal: Oncologists in the community are challenged with caring for older metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients who present with a wide variety of concerns that are not directly related to their cancer, yet greatly influence their care. Geriatric patient self-assessment tools have recently been developed to assist the oncologist in carefully evaluating these patients and optimally managing their disease. However, these tools are rarely used in clinical practice. This proposal is aimed at increasing the awareness of the need for careful evaluation of older MBC patients among community oncology practitioners.
Target audience: As older patients are routinely seen community practices, our target audiences will be oncology providers in the community (nurses, physician extenders, and oncologists). We will conduct this study at the community affiliates of the NCCN Affiliate Research Consortium.
Methods: There will be 3 phases to this project: (1) needs assessment – evaluated by a questionnaire; (2) educational session – which will include a didactic session and a pilot study utilizing the geriatric patient self-assessment tool; (3) evaluation of barriers for implementation of geriatric assessment into routine practice – through a practitioners’ questionnaire.
Assessment: This study will provide the oncology team at each institution with an educational session, and a hands-on pilot program for implementation of the geriatric assessment into routine management of older MBC patients. This project will allow us to assess the actual needs for these types of programs in the community oncology settings and the feasibility of implementing a geriatric patient self-assessment into a busy oncology practice.