PURPOSE: Elderly cancer patients are less likely to be treated in accordance with evidence-based guideline recommendations. This study examines patient-related factors associated with deviations from guideline recommendations.
METHODS: Using medical documentation and cancer registry data, we investigated the treatment courses of female breast cancer patients aged 50 and older in Germany regarding compliance with German guidelines. Participants completed a questionnaire querying factors hypothesized to be associated with guideline adherence. We conducted univariate analyses to explore the data and select variables for multivariate logistic regression to estimate adjusted odds ratios.
RESULTS: Of 1150 participants, 206 (17.9%) were treated in deviation from guideline recommendations. Patients 70 years and older were more likely to be treated deviating from guideline recommendations than patients 50-69 years old (OR: 2.07; 95% CI: 1.52-2.80). Patients aged 50-69 years who reported that quality of life guided their treatment decision were more likely to be treated in deviation from guideline recommendations (AOR: 2.08; 95% CI: 1.11-3.92) than the elderly. In older patients, higher age was associated with an increased chance of receiving guideline-discordant care (AOR: 1.06; 95% CI: 1.01-1.11), as was depression diagnosed prior to cancer (AOR: 1.84; 95% CI: 1.00-3.40).
CONCLUSION: Reasons for deviations from guideline recommendations in breast cancer patients differ by age. In decision-making concerning elderly patients, particular attention should be paid to those with pre-existing depressive disorders. Adequately addressing their needs and concerns could prevent inappropriate deviations from guideline recommendations.
Research Areas and Centers
- Research Area: Center for Population Medicine and Public Health (ZBV)