Cancer diagnosed in the emergency department of a regional health service

Rogers, Margaret J., Matheson, Leigh M., Garrard, Brooke, Mukaro, Violet, Riches, Sue, Sheridan, Michael, Ashley, David and Pitson, Graham 2016, Cancer diagnosed in the emergency department of a regional health service, Australian journal of rural health, vol. 24, no. 6, pp. 409-414, doi: 10.1111/ajr.12280.

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Title Cancer diagnosed in the emergency department of a regional health service
Author(s) Rogers, Margaret J.
Matheson, Leigh M.
Garrard, Brooke
Mukaro, Violet
Riches, Sue
Sheridan, Michael
Ashley, David
Pitson, Graham
Journal name Australian journal of rural health
Volume number 24
Issue number 6
Start page 409
End page 414
Total pages 6
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2016-12
ISSN 1440-1584
Keyword(s) Emergency Department
socio-economically disadvantaged
Summary OBJECTIVE: Patients diagnosed with cancer in the Emergency Department (ED) have more advanced disease at diagnosis and poorer outcomes. High rates of initial presentation to ED suggest potential problems with access to care. The aim of this project was to interpret findings in regional/rural Victoria and explore implications for practice.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study linking two independent data sets.

SETTING: Regional city of Geelong and surrounding rural areas in south-west Victoria.

PARTICIPANTS: All newly diagnosed cancer patients in 2009.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Number of cancer patients diagnosed in the ED.

RESULTS: One in five newly diagnosed cancer patients present to ED 6 months prior to cancer diagnosis. One in 10 is diagnosed as a result of their ED visit. Patients presenting to ED were older, more often men and from disadvantaged areas. Symptoms on presentation included chest complaints, bowel obstruction, abdominal pain, anaemia and generalised weakness. Cancer diagnosed in the ED is associated with advanced stage and shorter survival.

CONCLUSION: Reasons for presentation to ED would be multifactorial and include complex cases with coexisting symptoms making diagnosis difficult. The general public appear to have a low level of awareness of alternative primary care services or difficulty accessing such information. Some of the changes towards reducing the number of patients presenting to ED will include patient education.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/ajr.12280
Field of Research 111202 Cancer Diagnosis
11 Medical And Health Sciences
16 Studies In Human Society
Socio Economic Objective 920102 Cancer and Related Disorders
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, National Rural Health Alliance
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School of Medicine
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