Patient Reported Outcomes

Patient Reported Outcomes

Understanding what happens to patients who are treated with radiotherapy

CPQR has committed to developing processes that encourage the increased use of Patient Reported Outcomes (PROs) in routine clinical care across Canada.  CPQR will also evaluate the feasibility of incorporating real-time improvements in the care of individual patients, and higher-level improvements in health system performance.  These two broad goals of the CPQR model, while independent, are also tightly coupled and this scope of work encompasses over half of the CPQR strategic priorities over the next 2 years.  If you or your centre are interested in becoming involved, contact us today!

What is currently being done

The collection of Patient Reported Outcomes (PRO) supports improvements in patient care by allowing care teams to monitor patient health status and quality of life, identifying issues that may require discussion or intervention and to facilitate communication between patients and their care teams. In March 2017, the University of Calgary hosted a Cancer PRO conference focused on assessing national perspectives on the collection and use of PRO at cancer centres across the country.  Presenters detailed local cancer program initiatives aimed at capturing consistent measures from their patients.  Little was discussed regarding the use and development of disease site and treatment modality specific PRO Measures (PROMs), nor how pan-Canadian alignment in these areas can enhance learning opportunities for clinicians and care teams.

What is CPQR’s approach?

Creating opportunities for local improvement

By analyzing one clinical site CPQR will evaluate and report on the feasibility of collecting, utilizing and sharing radiation treatment PROs to integrate improvements of individual patient care, both locally and through pan-Canadian level health performance.  To accomplish this, CPQR will:

  • Assemble a CPQR PROs working group
  • Develop a program plan to define the scope of the pan-Canadian PROs initiative by utilizing real-time practitioner feedback to ensure system performance improvements in person-centered care
  • Collaborate with CPAC Patient Reported Outcomes Group to leverage prior investment and expertise and provide a contextual framework in utilizing PROs in curative or palliative therapy for CPAC
  • Determine the attitudes of collecting, utilizing and sharing PROs by surveying Canadian radiation treatment program leaders to ascertain the benefits and challenges of participating in such a program to improve clinical care locally, and system performance nationally.
  • Provide a workshop to identify roles, responsibilities and incentives for radiation oncologists, medical physicists and radiation therapists to encourage engagement in the pan-Canadian PROs initiative
  • Enable awareness of the PROs initiative to the pan-Canadian treatment community in the form of newsletters and presentations to encourage grass roots participation

Creating opportunities for system improvement

Capturing PROs is just once piece of the puzzle.  Integrating clinical and radiation treatment plan information with PROs at the pan-Canadian level will facilitate a comprehensive understanding of the impact of treatment on individual patients, and patient populations.  Working with the CPQR Treatment Planning Working Group, the PRO Working Group will:

  • Identify early adopter programs to participate in a pilot project of sharing and aggregating PROs at a national level for patients receiving palliative radiotherapy for bone metastases and a curative pilot-site
  • Meet with key strategic partners to discuss the feasibility of centralized storage and protection of pan-Canadian, radiation treatment PROs
  • Evaluate and report on patient privacy and confidentiality requirements, and the general risk management issues associated with sharing and aggregating PROs and related clinical and radiation treatment plan information on a pan-Canadian scale
  • Evaluate and report on the program-level infrastructure and personnel costs for early adopter programs to share anonymized clinical, dosimetric and PROs data on a national scale.

Check out our Treatment Planning page for information on how these pieces of work fit together!

What are the long-term objectives?

Understanding the role PROs can play in improving the quality of patient care will support the development of a knowledge translation program within radiation treatment programs, and across the country to improve the delivery of radiation treatment to individual patients and patient populations.