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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 241-252

A prospective study of telephonic contact and subsequent physical follow-up of radically treated lung cancer patients


1 Department of Radiation Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Surgical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
3 Department of Medical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
4 Department of Nuclear Medicine, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
5 Department of Pathology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
6 Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
7 Department of Radiology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
8 Department of Clinical Psychology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. J P Agarwal
Department of Radiation Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-509X.219599

Clinical trial registration NCT01133067

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BACKGROUND: We tested the hypothesis that telephonic follow-up (FU) may offer a convenient and equivalent alternative to physical FU of radically treated lung cancer patients. DESIGN: Prospective study carried out at a tertiary referral cancer care institute, Mumbai. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Two hundred consecutive lung cancer patients treated with curative intent were followed up regularly with telephonic interviews paired with their routine physical FU visits. Patient satisfaction with the telephonic call and the physical visit, the anxiety level of the patient after meeting the physician and the economic burden of the visit to the patient were noted in a descriptive manner. Kappa statistics was used to assess concurrence between the telephonic and physical impression of disease status. RESULTS: With a median FU duration of 21.5 months, the median satisfaction scores for telephonic and physical FU were 8 and 9, respectively. The prevalence and bias adjusted kappa (PABAK) score of the entire cohort of patients was 0.64 (95% confidence interval [CI] =0.58–0.70). Data analyzed up to first disease progression/relapse on FU had a PABAK score of 0.71 (95% CI = 0.64–0.77) indicating substantial agreement. Patients with disease controlled at the FU had a significant PABAK score of 0.88 (95% CI = 0.80–0.94) indicating excellent concurrence. On average, each patient spent Rs. 5117.10 on travel and Rs. 3079.06 on lodging per FU visit. CONCLUSION: Telephonic FU is substantially accurate in assessing disease status until the first relapse. In a resource-constrained country like India, it is worthwhile to further explore the benefits of such an alternative strategy.






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