Study examines NC cancer patient emergency department visits

 

Deborah Mayer, PhD, RN, AOCN, FAAN

When cancer patients experience medical problems, they may visit emergency departments, but how often and for what reasons, there is little data.

A first-ever study of emergency room use by oncology patients in North Carolina was published in the May 23, 2011 online issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Authors hope the study can give them information so that they can target clinical problems to improve delivery of quality cancer care, thus avoiding emergency room visits.

Deborah Mayer, PhD, RN, AOCN, FAAN, associate professor of nursing in the UNC School of Nursing, study lead author, said, “While some cancer patients develop acute problems that do require a visit to the emergency department, some visits might be avoided with better symptom management.” Mayer is a member of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

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