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R. Truscott

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    ORAL 08 - Smoking Cessation, Tobacco Control and Lung Cancer (ID 94)

    • Event: WCLC 2015
    • Type: Oral Session
    • Track: Prevention and Tobacco Control
    • Presentations: 1
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      ORAL08.06 - Introducing Smoking Cessation Across Ontario's Cancer Treatment System: Early Successes and Continuing Challenges (ID 537)

      10:45 - 12:15  |  Author(s): R. Truscott

      • Abstract
      • Presentation
      • Slides

      Smoking cessation (SC) has rarely been recommended by oncologists in Ontario’s cancer centres. Many believe it is too late to matter or perceive that patients will not be receptive to SC. However, a growing body of literature has identified substantial health benefits from SC in cancer patients including improved general health, improved all-cause and cancer-specific mortality, reduced toxicity, greater response to treatment and decreased risk of disease recurrence and second primaries. Based on this evidence, Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) undertook an initiative to support SC for new ambulatory cancer patients in its Regional Cancer Programs (RCPs) in 2013.

      A steering committee of experts recommended a framework for SC in 2012 based on the Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation. The CCO executive leadership and Regional Vice-Presidents supported the initiative which was then piloted in all 14 health regions in Ontario in 2014. Regional SC “champions” participated in monthly web meetings, data calls and in-person meetings led by a secretariat at CCO. Presentations on the health benefits of SC were made to physicians and other health care providers (HCPs) at regional cancer treatment centres and through the Ontario Telehealth Network. Presentations emphasized short, repeated oncologist scripts on the benefits of SC with referral to other HCPs for in-depth SC advice. New ambulatory cancer patients are screened, advised and referred to internal or external SC services dependent on regional resources. A minimum data set of standardized performance metrics is captured by CCO with patient-level data aggregated at the RCP level, presented as a provincial average, and reviewed with the RCPs in quarterly performance management sessions.

      During Q1-Q3 of the 2014/15 fiscal year, 52.9% of all new ambulatory cancer cases were screened for smoking status. Of those screened, 21.3% were current or recent (within the last 6 months) tobacco users. Approximately three-quarters of these individuals were advised of the benefits of SC; a referral for cessation services was recommended in nearly 50%; of these patients, 66.7% accepted the referral to SC services. Of those accepting a referral, 50.4% chose referrals internal to the cancer treatment facility, 32.3% chose external referrals and the remainder (17.2%) used a combination of both referral resources. As part of this initiative a standardized cancer patient resource on SC in a print-ready format has been recently developed in both French and English and will be adapted for Ontario’s Aboriginal population.

      CCO’s centralized yet collaborative approach has led to province-wide implementation of a standardized intervention in a relatively short timeframe with limited financial resources. Ongoing barriers to implementation and sustainability experienced by RCPs include financial constraint, limited SC training resources, reluctant physician buy-in, strained staff and system capacity, and suboptimal inter-departmental communication. Nonetheless, there has been substantial progress. Framing SC as a quality of care issue has been critical to the success to date. Sustainability of the initiative will be dependent on continued committed leadership, buy-in from front-line staff, funding for dedicated SC counselors and other resources, and evidence of program cost-effectiveness.

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