Publications by authors named "Thomas Maximilian Deutsch"

4 Publications

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Measuring the Time to Deterioration for Health-Related Quality of Life in Patients With Metastatic Breast Cancer Using a Web-Based Monitoring Application: Longitudinal Cohort Study.

JMIR Cancer 2021 Oct 12;7(4):e25776. Epub 2021 Oct 12.

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.

Background: Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is used to evaluate the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. In a long-term therapy setting, HRQoL can be used as an important benchmark for treatment success. With the help of digital apps, HRQoL monitoring can be extended to more remote areas and be administered on a more frequent basis.

Objective: This study aims to evaluate 3 common HRQoL questionnaires in metastasized breast cancer in terms of TTD in a digital, web-based setting. We further aim to examine the development of the HRQoL in different systemic treatment groups in each of these evaluation instruments.

Methods: A total of 192 patients with metastatic breast cancer were analyzed in this bicentric prospective online cohort study at two German university hospitals. Patients completed questionnaires on HRQoL (EuroQol Visual Analog Scale [EQ-VAS], EuroQol 5 Dimension 5 Level [EQ-5D-5L], European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-Core 30 item [EORTC QLQ-C30]) via an online platform over a 6-month period. Treatment schedules and medical history were retrieved from medical records. Unadjusted Cox regression analysis on treatment-related factors was performed. We conducted subgroup analyses in regard to TTD events between different treatments.

Results: The EQ-VAS showed a higher rate of deterioration after 8 weeks (84/179, 46.9%) than the EQ-5D-5L (47/163, 28.8%) and EORTC QLQ-C30 (65/176, 36.9%). Unadjusted Cox regression revealed significant connections between known metastases in the liver (P=.03, HR 1.64, 95% CI 1.06-2.52) and pleura (P=.04, HR 0.42, 95% CI 0.18-0.96) in the EQ-VAS. Significant relations between EQ-VAS events and single EQ-5D-5L items and the EQ-5D-5L summary score were demonstrated. All treatment groups significantly differed from the CDK4/6 inhibition subgroup in the EQ-VAS.

Conclusions: Compared to the EQ-5D-5L and QLQ-C30, the EQ-VAS showed a higher rate of deterioration after 8 weeks. Significant connections to certain metastatic locations were only detected in the EQ-VAS. The EQ-VAS is capable of reflecting the distinctive HRQoL profiles of different systemic treatments as well as the different aspects of HRQoL presented in the EQ-5D-5L. TTD with the EQ-VAS is an adequate mean of examining longitudinal development of HRQoL among breast cancer patients.
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October 2021

Do hospital type or caseload make a difference in chemotherapy treatment patterns for early breast cancer? Results from 104 German institutions, 2008-2017.

Breast 2021 Aug 23;58:63-71. Epub 2021 Apr 23.

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Heidelberg University Hospital, Heidelberg, Germany. Electronic address:

Background: Over the past decade, chemotherapy has been used more selectively in early breast cancer (EBC) due to better risk stratification. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) has evolved to the primary treatment option. The type and size of hospitals is known to have a substantial influence on the kinds of treatment they provide, and therefore on patient outcomes (e.g. rates for pathological complete response, pCR), but it is not yet known how this has affected delivery of chemotherapy for EBC in Germany.

Methods: This study analyzed chemotherapy use and pCR rates after NACT for EBC patients treated at 104 German institutions 2008-2017. Institutions were separated into associated hospital type (university hospital; teaching hospital; community hospital) and annual caseload (≤100; 101-250; >250 cases/year).

Results: Overall, 124,084 patients were included, of whom 11.6% were treated at university hospitals, 63.1% at teaching hospitals, and 25.3% at community hospitals. In total, 46,274 (37.3%) received chemotherapy, of whom 44,765 had information available about systemic treatment and surgery. From 2008 to 2017, chemotherapy use declined from 48.3% to 36.4% for university hospitals, from 40.7% to 30.3% for teaching hospitals, and from 42.4% to 33.7% for community hospitals. Furthermore, the proportion of NACT increased the most in university hospitals (from 32.0% to 68.1%); whereas, the rate of pCR (defined as ypT0 ypN0) increased irrespective of institutional type. Analyses regarding annual caseload did not show any differences.

Conclusions: The results from this large, nationwide cohort reflect a more selective use of chemotherapy in Germany, irrespective of institutional type or case load.
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August 2021

Evaluating the influence of music at different sound pressure levels on medical students' performance of standardized laparoscopic box training exercises.

BMC Med Educ 2021 Apr 13;21(1):209. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Heidelberg University Hospital, Im Neuenheimer Feld 440, D-69120, Heidelberg, Germany.

Background: The influence of music on the performance of surgical procedures such as laparoscopy is controversial and methodologically difficult to quantify. Here, outcome measurements using laparoscopic box training tools under standardized conditions might offer a feasible approach. To date, the effect of music exposure at different sound pressure levels (SPL) on outcome has not been evaluated systematically for laparoscopic novices.

Methods: Between May 2017 and October 2018, n = 87 students (49 males, 38 females) from Heidelberg University Medical School performed three different laparoscopy exercises using the "Luebecker Toolbox" that were repeated twice under standardized conditions. Time was recorded for each run. All students were randomly assigned to four groups exposed to the same music compilation but at different SPLs (50-80 dB), an acoustically shielded (earplug) group, or a control group (no intervention).

Results: Best absolute performance was shown under exposure to 70 dB in all three exercises (a, b, c) with mean performance time of 121, 142, and 115 s (p < 0.05 for a and c). For the control group mean performance times were 157, 144, and 150 s, respectively. In the earplug group, no significant difference in performance was found compared to the control group (p > 0.05) except for exercise (a) (p = 0.011).

Conclusion: Music exposure seems to have beneficial effects on training performance. In comparison to the control group, significantly better results were reached at 70 dB SPL, while exposure to lower (50 or 60 dB) or higher (80 dB) SPL as well as under acoustic shielding did not influence performance.
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April 2021

Challenges in Acceptance and Compliance in Digital Health Assessments During Pregnancy: Prospective Cohort Study.

JMIR Mhealth Uhealth 2020 10 14;8(10):e17377. Epub 2020 Oct 14.

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.

Background: Pregnant women are increasingly using mobile apps to access health information during the antenatal period. Therefore, digital health solutions can potentially be used as monitoring instruments during pregnancy. However, a main factor of success is high user engagement.

Objective: The aim of this study was to analyze engagement and factors influencing compliance in a longitudinal study targeting pregnant women using a digital health app with self-tracking.

Methods: Digitally collected data concerning demographics, medical history, technical aspects, and mental health from 585 pregnant women were analyzed. Patients filling out ≥80% of items at every study visit were considered to be highly compliant. Factors associated with high compliance were identified using logistic regression. The effect of a change in mental and physical well-being on compliance was assessed using a one-sample t test.

Results: Only 25% of patients could be considered compliant. Overall, 63% left at least one visit blank. Influential variables for higher engagement included higher education, higher income, private health insurance, nonsmoking, and German origin. There was no relationship between a change in the number of physical complaints or depressive symptoms and study dropout.

Conclusions: Maintaining high engagement with digital monitoring devices over a long time remains challenging. As cultural and socioeconomic background factors had the strongest influence, more effort needs to be directed toward understanding the needs of patients from different demographic backgrounds to ensure high-quality care for all patients. More studies need to report on compliance to disclose potential demographic bias.
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October 2020