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Implementation and evaluation of a remote geriatric assessment and intervention program in Brazil.

Cancer 2023 March 26
BACKGROUND: This study sought to determine the feasibility and acceptability of a remote geriatric assessment (GA) and implementation (GAIN) program in Brazil. The authors also explored the effect of this program on health-related quality of life (HR-QOL) outcomes 3 months after initiating treatment.

METHODS: This is a longitudinal study enrolling older adults (65+ years), diagnosed with any type of solid tumor, scheduled to initiate chemotherapy in a networked Brazilian cancer center. The GA was performed through telehealth. We assessed the feasibility of the remote GA, acceptability to patients, and changes in patient-centered outcomes (HR-QOL, mood, function) from baseline to month 3. Linear mixed model analysis was done, adjusting for age, gender, race, income, and disease stage.

RESULTS: Fifty-six patients completed all intended assessments. Notably, the threshold of feasibility was 70% and there was 92% complete adherence. Average age was 76 years old (SD = 7.2). Most patients were female (57%), married (59%), and had a college degree (46%). The most common diagnoses were gastrointestinal (39%) and gynecological cancers (18%); most were diagnosed at an advance disease stage (77%). A total of 32 patients were referred to a remote appointment and 86% followed this recommendation(s). Significant improvement in Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy - General FACT-G (mean difference, 6.04; p < .001), Geriatric Depression Scale (mean difference, -0.86; p = .008), and instrumental activities of daily living ratio (mean difference, 0.17; p < .001) were found.

CONCLUSION: Remote GAIN is feasible and acceptable to older adults with cancer receiving treatment in Brazil. The authors also found significant improvement in HR-QOL outcomes over time. Notably, this GAIN program could guide early detection of chemotherapy toxicity and improving patient-reported outcomes in low-resource environments.

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