2 Département de Médecine Interne et Gériatrie, Service D’oncologie, CHVR – Hôpital du Valais, Avenue de Grand-Champsec 80, 1951 Sion, Switzerland
3 European Center of Pharmaceutical Medicine, University of Basel, Klingelbergstrasse 61, 4056 Basel, Switzerland
Many patients describe travel to cancer treatment as inconvenient and a practical hardship and it may be perceived or experienced as a barrier to treatment. We investigated whether all patients who came for chemotherapy would theoretically accept an alternative solution to reduce the number of journeys. The aim was to characterize and quantify the acceptance of these alternatives and to identify groups of patients who could be interested in alternative solutions.
All patients coming in February 2012 for chemotherapy to one of the four centres of the hospital or to the unique private practice were asked to answer a survey. Eight options to reduce the number of travels were proposed to patients undergoing chemotherapy with five possible answers “Yes”, “rather yes”, “rather no”, “No” and “I don’t know”. Impact of travel time, gender, age and the number of persons living in the same household on the results was analysed.
130 patients (62%) answered all requested questions. Acceptance of offered options varies from not acceptable at all to acceptable for a small majority of patients. Distance to travel impacts the answers for some options.
Some alternatives were acceptable for some groups of patients. Particularly the transfer of the drug intake to the practice of the family doctor or preferably at home of the patient enjoyed some acceptance. These options should be investigated in further studies.
Keywords: Burden of travel, Cancer, Chemotherapy, Elder patients, Patient’s preferences.
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