1) To determine the services available for lung cancer patients undergoing surgery.
2) To determine the availability and use of eHealth technologies as model of care for the rehabilitation management of people with lung cancer.
Design, setting and participants:
A purpose designed survey was sent to sites registered through the Lung Foundation Australia as those as having a lung cancer MDTs to manage lung cancer surgical patients. There were 49 eligible MDTs.
Main outcome measures:
Assessment, management and referral practices for each site, and their opinions around different models of care.
The response rate was 51%. Most (79%) sites reported they felt pulmonary rehabilitation needs of lung cancer surgical patients are currently not being met. On discharge, the majority of services (83%) reported the availability of PR for lung cancer surgical patients either at their institution, another institution, or a community program. At patient discharge, 52% of sites offered referral to PR programs. A third (33%) of sites reported referring patients to coordinated prehabilitation programs. 74% of respondents indicated that there was no or unknown follow-up of patients referred to pulmonary rehabilitation in a different health district. A little over half (52%) of sites use eHealth technologies for practitioner to practitioner communication, while only 22% use it for direct patient interactions. Common perceived barriers to pulmonary rehabilitation included lack of funding, administration time and patient access to technology.
The findings highlight a need to integrate these practices into service delivery pathways. The use of eHealth technologies is not widespread but may offer improved access to these services.