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Keywords:

  • integrated care;
  • disease management;
  • indicator;
  • head and neck cancer;
  • process assessment (healthcare)

Abstract

Background.

To improve the quality of integrated care, we developed indicators for assessing current practice in a large reference center for head and neck oncology.

Methods.

We defined a set of indicators based on integrated care literature, national evidence-based guidelines for patients with head and neck cancer, and the opinions of professionals and patients. We tested this set regarding assessement of current practice and clinimetric characteristics.

Results.

The final set consisted of 8 integrated care indicators and 23 specific indicators for patients with head and neck cancer. Current practice assessment produced high scores for the integrated care indicators, but the specific indicators showed room for improvement. The practice test showed that 9 indicators had good applicability.

Conclusions.

The indicators, while based on evidence-based guidelines and the principles of integrated care, should incorporate patients' opinions and include a practice test. Our results show that the quality of integrated care for patients with head and neck cancer could be improved. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2007