Cancer complaints: The profile of patients from the emergency department of a Brazilian oncology teaching hospital 

Cancer complaints: The profile of patients from the emergency department of a Brazilian oncology teaching hospital 
Cancer complaints at the emergency department
Felipe Batalini 1,2Millena Gomes3Fábio I3Flávio Kuwae3Giselle Macanhan3Julio L.B. Pereira4

Abstract

Background: With the increase in prevalence of cancer in our society, we aim to clarify through primary data use what drives emergency department (ED) utilization among patients with cancer.
Methods: This is a cross-sectional study. A direct survey was applied to cancer patients over 277 visits in 2015. Variables including chief complaint for current and last visit, frequency of visits, primary tumor site, and demographics were collected.
Results: Pain was the most common complaint, responsible for 40% of visits, followed by constitutional symptoms (17%), and gastrointestinal complaints (11%). Abdominal pain was the single most noted pain type, with 18.4%, and had the highest rate of recurrence. It was followed by back pain, dyspnea, asthenia and fever, accounting for 8.5%, 8.5%, 8.1% and 7%, respectively. Cervical cancer represented 14.8% of patients, followed by breast (11.6%) and lung (7.6%) cancers. The majority of patients visited the emergency department less than once a month.
Conclusion: The drivers of emergency department utilization among patients with cancer found through primary use data mostly confirm findings from larger studies with secondary use data. Our research underscores the burden of pain to patients with cancer, as it is the most common complaint leading to ED visits, and generally requires multiple visits. Abdominal pain was more likely to recur than other complaints. Patients could benefit from focused outpatient pain management, and from more research and education targeting cancer-related pain.

Keywords

cancer, complaints, neoplasms, pain, oncology, hospital

read more: https://f1000research.com/articles/6-1919/v1

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