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Open AccessArticle

Variation in Routine Follow-Up Care After Curative Treatment for Head-and-Neck Cancer: A Population-Based Study in Ontario

1
Department of Public Health Sciences, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada
2
Department of Otolaryngology, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada
3
Department of Oncology, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada
4
Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada
5
Department of Public Health Sciences, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Curr. Oncol. 2018, 25(2), 120-131; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.25.3892
Received: 4 January 2018 / Revised: 1 February 2018 / Accepted: 2 March 2018 / Published: 1 April 2018
Background: The actual practices of routine follow-up after curative treatment for head-and-neck cancer are unknown, and existing guidelines are not evidence-based. Methods: This retrospective population-based study used administrative data to describe 5 years of routine follow-up care in 3975 head-and-neck cancer patients diagnosed between 2007 and 2012 in Ontario. Results: The mean number of visits per year declined during the follow-up period (from 7.8 to 1.9, p < 0.001). The proportion of patients receiving visits in concordance with guidelines ranged from 80% to 45% depending on the follow-up year. In at least 50% of patients, 1 head, neck, or chest imaging test was performed in the first follow-up year; that proportion subsequently declined (p < 0.001). Factors associated with follow-up practices included comorbidity, tumour site, treatment, geographic region, and physician specialty (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Given current practice variation and the absence of an evidence-based standard, the challenge in identifying a single optimal follow-up strategy might be better addressed with a harmonized approach to providing individualized follow-up care.
Keywords: head-and-neck cancer; routine follow-up; practice variation; imaging head-and-neck cancer; routine follow-up; practice variation; imaging
MDPI and ACS Style

Brennan, K.E.; Hall, S.F.; Owen, T.E.; Griffiths, R.J.; Peng, Y. Variation in Routine Follow-Up Care After Curative Treatment for Head-and-Neck Cancer: A Population-Based Study in Ontario. Curr. Oncol. 2018, 25, 120-131. https://doi.org/10.3747/co.25.3892

AMA Style

Brennan KE, Hall SF, Owen TE, Griffiths RJ, Peng Y. Variation in Routine Follow-Up Care After Curative Treatment for Head-and-Neck Cancer: A Population-Based Study in Ontario. Current Oncology. 2018; 25(2):120-131. https://doi.org/10.3747/co.25.3892

Chicago/Turabian Style

Brennan, K. E.; Hall, S. F.; Owen, T. E.; Griffiths, R. J.; Peng, Y. 2018. "Variation in Routine Follow-Up Care After Curative Treatment for Head-and-Neck Cancer: A Population-Based Study in Ontario" Curr. Oncol. 25, no. 2: 120-131. https://doi.org/10.3747/co.25.3892

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