Purpose: We examined the association between patient experience of care and utilization of hormone therapy (HT) in the treatment of non-metastatic hormone-receptor positive (HR+) breast cancer. Methods: Patients newly diagnosed with non-metastatic breast cancer were recruited from 2006 to 2010 for a longitudinal multisite cohort study in New York, NY, Detroit, MI, and Northern California. Of 1,145 patients surveyed, 797 had HR+ tumors eligible for HT and all necessary data. We assessed patient experience 4 to 8 weeks after recruitment using 6 subscales of the Interpersonal Processes of Care (IPC) survey: compassion, discrimination, and hurriedness in communication, as well as concern elicitation, result explanation, and patient-centered decision-making. Subscales ranged from 1 to 5 where higher values indicated better experiences. HT for 5 years is standard care for HR+ breast cancer so utilization was defined as time from diagnosis to HT initiation and time from HT initiation to early discontinuation before 5 years as calculated from follow-up survey responses. We evaluated the relationship between patient experience and utilization using Cox proportional hazard models, controlling for education, income, insurance, marital status, social support, site of care, age at diagnosis, stage, grade, tumor size, Charlson comorbidity index, and chemotherapy. Results: Median age at diagnosis was 59 years (interquartile range 51–66) with the majority diagnosed at clinical stage 1 (54%) and with low or moderate grade disease (78%). Less hurried communication was associated with increased probability of HT initiation (Hazards Ratio (HR) 1.15; 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 1.03, 1.30; p = 0.018). Conversely, more patient-centered decision-making was associated with increased probability of early discontinuation (HR 1.29; CI, 1.03, 1.63; p = 0.028). All other associations were null. Conclusion: While unhurried communication was associated with initiation of hormone therapy, patient-centered decision-making was associated with early discontinuation. Different aspects of patient experience may have vastly different relationships with patient utilization of health services. Actionable assessments of patient experience may require measurement along multiple dimensions.
The following are the 23 highest scoring abstracts of those submitted for presentation at the 45th Annual ASPO meeting held virtually March 29 – April 1, 2021.