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Lymphoma: variations in time to diagnosis and treatment

HOWELL, D.A., SMITH, A.G. and ROMAN, E. (2006) Lymphoma: variations in time to diagnosis and treatment. European Journal of Cancer Care, 15 (3). pp. 272-278. ISSN 0961-5423

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This study examines illness trajectories of patients with lymphoma and assesses whether UK government targets to reduce waiting time for diagnosis and treatment are achievable and appropriate. One hundred and ninety-four patients, residents in West Yorkshire, aged more than 25 years and newly diagnosed with lymphoma during 2000 were included. Data collected from interviews, primary care and hospital records were used to examine time between critical events on the illness trajectory and characteristics of patients not meeting proposed targets. Forty-two per cent of patients did not receive a hospital appointment within 2 weeks of general practitioner referral, 26% were not treated within 1 month of diagnosis and 64% were not treated within 2 months of referral. Target achievement differed by diagnostic group, and trends were seen by age and deprivation. The interval from onset of symptoms to treatment averaged more than 1 year and approximately half of this occurred before first medical contact. Results suggest that significant improvements are needed to achieve targets. Although existing targets particularly address referral and treatment intervals, these were the shortest intervals on the trajectory. Generalized targets may be inappropriate and unachievable for lymphoma as they do not consider individual disease characteristics or allow for variations in the urgency with which treatment is needed.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Health Sciences (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 25 May 2009 13:39
Last Modified: 25 May 2009 13:39
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2354.2006.00651.x
Status: Published
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Identification Number: 10.1111/j.1365-2354.2006.00651.x
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/6186

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