A survey of health care professionals and oncology patients at the McGill University Health Centre reveals enthusiasm for establishing a postmortem rapid tissue donation program

M. Dankner, J. Senecal, N. S. Neubarth, N. Bertos, M. Park, B. Issa-Chergui, J. Asselah, P. M. Siegel, N. Bouganim

Abstract


Background  In the early developmental phase of a postmortem rapid tissue donation (RTD) program for patients with metastatic cancer, we surveyed health care professionals (HCPS) and oncology patients at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) to assess their knowledge and attitudes pertaining to RTD from metastatic cancer patients for research purposes.

Methods   A 23-item survey was developed and distributed to hcps at tumour board meetings, and a related 26-item survey was developed and distributed to oncology patients at the MUHC Cedars Cancer Centre.

Results   The survey attracted participation from 73 HCPS, including 37 attending physicians, and 102 oncology patients. Despite the fact that 88% of hcps rated their knowledge of RTD as none or limited, 42% indicated that they would feel comfortable discussing RTD with their cancer patients. Of the responding hcps, 67% indicated that their current knowledge of RTD would affect their decision to discuss such a program with patients, which implies the importance of education for hcps to facilitate enrolment of patients into a RTD program. Of responding patients, 78% indicated that they would not be uncomfortable if their doctor discussed RTD with them, and 61% indicated that they would like it if their doctor were to discuss RTD with them. The hcps and patients felt that the best time for patients to be approached about consenting to a RTD program would be at the transition to palliative care when no treatment options remain.

Conclusions   At the MUHC, hcps and patients are generally enthusiastic about adopting a RTD program for patients with metastatic cancer. Education of hcps and patients will be an important determinant of the program’s success.


Keywords


Rapid Tissue Donation; Rapid Autopsy; Warm Autopsy

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3747/co.26.4771






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