Publications by authors named "Bryan Gascon"

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Symptom screening for constipation in oncology: getting to the bottom of the matter.

Support Care Cancer 2019 Jul 30;27(7):2463-2470. Epub 2018 Oct 30.

Department of Supportive Care, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, 16th Floor, Room 749, 610 University Avenue, Toronto, ON, M5G 2M9, Canada.

Purpose: This study seeks to determine whether specific screening for constipation will increase the frequency of clinician response within the context of an established symptom screening program.

Methods: A "constipation" item was added to routine Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS) screening in gynecologic oncology clinics during a 7-week trial period, without additional constipation-specific training. Chart audits were then conducted to determine documentation of assessment and intervention for constipation in three groups of patients, those who completed (1) ESAS (n = 477), (2) ESAS-C with constipation (n = 435), and (3) no ESAS (n = 511).

Results: Among patients who were screened for constipation, 17% reported moderate to severe symptoms. Greater constipation severity increased the likelihood of documented assessment (Z = 2.37, p = .018) and intervention (Z = 1.99, p = .048). Overall rates of documented assessment were 36%, with the highest assessment rate in the no ESAS group (χ = 9.505, p = .006), a group with the highest proportion of late-stage disease. No difference in the rate of assessment was found between the ESAS and ESAS-C groups. Overall rates for documentation of intervention were low, and did not differ between groups.

Conclusions: Specific screening for constipation within an established screening program did not increase the documentation rate for constipation assessment or intervention. The inclusion of specific symptoms in multi-symptom screening initiatives should be carefully evaluated in terms of added value versus patient burden. Care pathways should include guidance on triaging results from multi-symptom screening, and clinicians should pay particular attention to patients who are missed from screening altogether, as they may be the most symptomatic group.
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July 2019