Gastrostomy tube placement and use in patients with head and neck cancer

Authors

  • Julie L. Locher PhD, MSPH,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Medicine, Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), Birmingham, Alabama
    2. Department of Health Care Organization and Policy, UAB, Birmingham, Alabama
    3. Center for Aging, UAB, Birmingham, Alabama
    4. Lister Hill Center for Health Policy, UAB, Birmingham, Alabama
    5. Comprehensive Cancer Center, UAB, Birmingham, Alabama
    • Department of Medicine, Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), Birmingham, Alabama
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  • James A. Bonner MD,

    1. Comprehensive Cancer Center, UAB, Birmingham, Alabama
    2. Department of Radiation Oncology, UAB, Birmingham, Alabama
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    • Occasional consultant/honoraria for Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, ImClone Systems, Inc., Eli Lilly and Company, Oncolytics, instances Sanofi-Aventis, and AstraZeneca. Speaker's bureau-Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.

  • William R. Carroll MD,

    1. Comprehensive Cancer Center, UAB, Birmingham, Alabama
    2. Department of Surgery, Division of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, UAB, Birmingham, Alabama
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  • Jimmy J. Caudell MD, PhD,

    1. Comprehensive Cancer Center, UAB, Birmingham, Alabama
    2. Department of Radiation Oncology, UAB, Birmingham, Alabama
    3. Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi
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  • Meredith L. Kilgore PhD, RN,

    1. Department of Health Care Organization and Policy, UAB, Birmingham, Alabama
    2. Center for Aging, UAB, Birmingham, Alabama
    3. Lister Hill Center for Health Policy, UAB, Birmingham, Alabama
    4. Comprehensive Cancer Center, UAB, Birmingham, Alabama
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  • Christine S. Ritchie MD, MSPH,

    1. Department of Medicine, Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), Birmingham, Alabama
    2. Center for Aging, UAB, Birmingham, Alabama
    3. Lister Hill Center for Health Policy, UAB, Birmingham, Alabama
    4. Comprehensive Cancer Center, UAB, Birmingham, Alabama
    5. Birmingham/Atlanta Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center, Department of Veterans Affairs, Birmingham, Alabama
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  • David L. Roth PhD,

    1. Department of Medicine, Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), Birmingham, Alabama
    2. Center for Aging, UAB, Birmingham, Alabama
    3. Lister Hill Center for Health Policy, UAB, Birmingham, Alabama
    4. Birmingham/Atlanta Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center, Department of Veterans Affairs, Birmingham, Alabama
    5. Department of Biostatistics, UAB, Birmingham, Alabama
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  • Gabriel S. Tajeu MSPH,

    1. Department of Health Care Organization and Policy, UAB, Birmingham, Alabama
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  • Ya Yuan MSPH,

    1. Department of Biostatistics, UAB, Birmingham, Alabama
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  • Jeroan J. Allison MD, MSPH

    1. Department of Quantitative Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts
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Abstract

Background

Enteral nutritional support is used in care for patients with head and neck cancer. This study describes the frequency and timing of gastrostomy tube placement and corresponding Medicare nutritional support claims in patients with head and neck cancer.

Methods

Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)–Medicare data for patients with head and neck cancer diagnosed from 2000 to 2005 were used in this descriptive study (N = 16,458).

Results

In all, 35.1% of patients undergoing treatment had gastrostomy tubes placed; 16.9% had tubes placed before treatment, whereas 83.1% had them placed after treatment. Of those having tubes placed prior to treatment 23.7% had Medicare claims for nutritional support before treatment and 40.9% had claims after treatment began. A total of 35.4% of patients who had tubes placed before treatment and 35.5% who had tubes placed after treatment had no claims for nutritional support.

Conclusions

Future work is warranted to identify predictors and outcomes associated with provision and timing of enteral nutrition support for patients with head and neck cancer. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2012

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