The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recommends that outpatient specialty palliative care (OSPC) be offered within eight weeks of an advanced cancer diagnosis. To meet the rising demand, there has been an increase in the availability of OSPC services at National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers; however, many OSPC referrals still occur late in the disease course.
Using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR), we evaluated facilitators and barriers to early OSPC implementation and associated clinic characteristics.
We selected relevant CFIR constructs for inclusion in a survey that was distributed to the OSPC clinic leader at each NCI-designated cancer center. For each statement, respondents were instructed to rate the degree to which they agreed on a five-point Likert scale. We used descriptive statistics to summarize responses to survey items and explore differences in barriers based on OSPC clinic size and maturity.
Of 60 eligible sites, 40 (67%) completed the survey. The most commonly agreed upon barriers to early OSPC included inadequate number of OSPC providers (73%), lack of performance metric goals (65%), insufficient space to deliver early OSPC (58%), logistical challenges created by early OSPC (55%), and absence of formal interdisciplinary communication systems (53%). The most frequently reported barriers differed according to clinic size and maturity.
Most barriers were modifiable in nature and related to the “Inner Setting” domain of the CFIR, which highlights the need for careful strategic planning by leadership when implementing early OSPC.
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Published online: November 29, 2022
Accepted: November 16, 2022
Prior Presentations: The preliminary results of this study were presented at the 2022 ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
© 2022 American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.