Hospital-level Variation in Utilization of Surgery for Clinical Stage I-II Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma

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Abstract

Objective:

To (1) evaluate rates of surgery for clinical stage I-II pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), (2) identify predictors of not undergoing surgery, (3) quantify the degree to which patient- and hospital-level factors explain differences in hospital surgery rates, and (4) evaluate the association between adjusted hospital-specific surgery rates and overall survival (OS) of patients treated at different hospitals.

Background:

Curative-intent surgery for potentially resectable PDAC is underutilized in the United States.

Methods:

Retrospective cohort study of patients ≤85 years with clinical stage I-II PDAC in the 2004 to 2014 National Cancer Database. Mixed effects multivariable models were used to characterize hospital-level variation across quintiles of hospital surgery rates. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate the effect of adjusted hospital surgery rates on OS.

Results:

Of 58,553 patients without contraindications or refusal of surgery, 63.8% underwent surgery, and the rate decreased from 2299/3528 (65.2%) in 2004 to 4412/7092 (62.2%) in 2014 (P < 0.001). Adjusted hospital rates of surgery varied 6-fold (11.4%–70.9%). Patients treated at hospitals with higher rates of surgery had better unadjusted OS (median OS 10.2, 13.3, 14.2, 16.5, and 18.4 months in quintiles 1–5, respectively, P < 0.001, log-rank). Treatment at hospitals in lower surgery rate quintiles 1–3 was independently associated with mortality [Hazard ratio (HR) 1.10 (1.01, 1.21), HR 1.08 (1.02, 1.15), and HR 1.09 (1.04, 1.14) for quintiles 1–3, respectively, compared with quintile 5] after adjusting for patient factors, hospital type, and hospital volume.

Conclusions:

Quality improvement efforts are needed to help hospitals with low rates of surgery ensure that their patients have access to appropriate surgery.

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