Lung cancer affects people differently worldwide, leading to varying care practices and outcomes. To improve this, healthcare uses Clinical Quality Indicators (CQIs) to measure and enhance care quality. These global standards shed light on the impact of cancer care and the need for better, unified approaches.
Understanding global variations in lung cancer care can significantly impact mesothelioma treatment in the future. Mesothelioma, a type of cancer caused by asbestos exposure, shares some similarities with lung cancer in terms of treatment approaches and challenges. Insights gained from studying lung cancer care can potentially influence mesothelioma treatment in several ways.
Global Variations in Lung Cancer Care
Lung cancer ranks as the second most diagnosed cancer worldwide, causing the most cancer-related deaths. Despite fewer people smoking in some areas, lung cancer cases keep increasing. Shockingly, even non-smokers can develop lung cancer, making up a significant portion of cases. Survival rates remain low, even with better treatments.
Australia and New Zealand have noticed differences in lung cancer care, affecting certain groups more than others. This affects survival rates. CQIs help measure care quality, identify differences, and raise care standards.
A detailed search was done to find CQIs specific to lung cancer. They’re like measurement tools for care quality. From 48 studies and 661 CQIs, we found gaps in reflecting the most current care standards.
Putting Patients at the Heart of Care
Despite progress, many published CQIs don’t cover all aspects of care or follow the latest practices. Lots of indicators focus on surgery, leaving out most patients who might not have this treatment. We need indicators that apply to everyone to see real improvements.
CQIs focusing on patient factors like clinical stage and teamwork discussions are crucial, but they’re a small part of all indicators. There’s a worry that missing indicators for common practices like molecular testing might affect care quality comparisons.
Patients’ voices are missing in improving care quality. Few indicators talk about patients’ experiences or results. To truly make care better, we need ongoing updates to CQIs and more involvement from patients.
A Path to Better Care
Even though many lung cancer CQIs exist, they don’t always show the best practices. To bridge these gaps, Australia and New Zealand need a joined-up and patient-centered approach. This teamwork could fix inequalities in lung cancer care at a crucial time in healthcare. Understanding how lung cancer care varies globally is crucial for better patient outcomes. It’s not just about treatments, but about making sure everyone gets the best care possible, no matter where they are.
The development and implementation of Clinical Quality Indicators (CQIs) for lung cancer care could serve as a model for establishing similar guidelines specific to mesothelioma. These guidelines would help in assessing and improving the quality of care, leading to more standardized and effective treatment practices for mesothelioma patients globally.
Nash, Jessica, and Fraser Brims. “International Standards of Care in Thoracic Oncology: A Narrative Review of Clinical Quality Indicators.” Lung Cancer 186 (December 1, 2023). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lungcan.2023.107421.