Kufstein County Hospital

Kufstein, Austria

Kufstein County Hospital

Kufstein, Austria

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Zabernigg A.,Kufstein County Hospital | Giesinger J.M.,Innsbruck Medical University | Pall G.,Innsbruck Medical University | Gamper E.-M.,Innsbruck Medical University | And 6 more authors.
BMC Cancer | Year: 2012

Background: In patients with cancers of the pancreatic and biliary tract quality of life (QOL) improvement is the main treatment goal, since survival can be prolonged only marginally. Up to date, knowledge on QOL impairments throughout the entire treatment process, often including several chemotherapy lines, is scarce. Our study aimed at investigating QOL trajectories from adjuvant treatment to palliative 3rd-line therapy. Methods: Patients were included in routine electronic patient-reported outcome monitoring at Kufstein County Hospital at the time of diagnosis and assessed with the EORTC QLQ-C30 during each chemotherapy cycle.Results: Eighty out of 147 patients with pancreatic cancer or cancer of the bile ducts treated at the Kufstein County Hospital, fulfilled inclusion criteria and could be included in the study (mean age 67.4 years; 53.8% women). Physical, Emotional and Cognitive Functioning, and Global QOL deteriorated across chemotherapy lines, whereas Fatigue, Pain, Dyspnoea, Sleeping Disturbances, Diarrhoea, and Taste Alterations increased. With regard to Physical Functioning, Global QOL, Fatigue, Dyspnoea, Diarrhoea and Taste Alterations, the patients receiving adjuvant or 1st-line palliative chemotherapy did not differ significantly. Most patients in 2nd- or 3rd-line chemotherapy showed significantly higher impairments and symptom burden. However, patients under 1st and 2nd-line treatment showed stable QOL trajectories, whereas 3rd-line patients perceived substantial deteriorations.Conclusions: The results suggest early palliative treatment initiation to stabilise QOL on a level as high as possible. The continuous QOL improvement during adjuvant treatment, probably reflecting post-operative recovery, may indicate that deleterious effects of adjuvant chemotherapy on QOL are highly unlikely. © 2012 Zabernigg et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Ralser E.,Innsbruck Medical University | Mueller W.,Reutte County Hospital | Haberland C.,Kufstein County Hospital | Fink F.-M.,St Johann County Hospital | And 3 more authors.
Acta Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics | Year: 2012

Aim: Aim of the study is to investigate the frequency of and predictors for rehospitalization within the first 2 years of life among preterm infants. Methods: All children born before 32 weeks of gestation in Northern Tyrol between January 2003 and July 2008 were prospectively enrolled. Data on rehospitalizations were obtained from hospital admission records. The association between candidate risk factors and readmission was analysed by means of logistic regression analysis. Results: In the first and second years of life, 151 and 93 of 377 children (40.1% and 24.7%), respectively, were readmitted to one of the hospitals in Northern Tyrol. The most common causes of rehospitalization were respiratory disorders, accounting for 42.1% and 47.4% of total readmissions in the first and second years of life. Chronic lung disease (CLD), male sex and smoking in pregnancy were risk conditions relevant to readmission in the first year of life, but only CLD in the second year. Conclusion: Infants born before 32 weeks of gestation have a high risk of rehospitalization with respiratory illness significantly contributing to postdischarge morbidity. Neonatal intensive care should aim to further improve respiratory health in preterm infants, and adequate follow-up services must be offered. © 2011 The Author(s)/Acta Pædiatrica © 2011 Foundation Acta Pædiatrica.


Wintner L.M.,Innsbruck Medical University | Giesinger J.M.,Innsbruck Medical University | Zabernigg A.,Kufstein County Hospital | Sztankay M.,Innsbruck Medical University | And 5 more authors.
British Journal of Cancer | Year: 2013

Background:Most lung cancer patients are diagnosed at an advanced disease stage and predominantly receive palliative treatment, which increasingly consists of several chemotherapy lines. We report on patients' quality of life (QOL) to gain knowledge on QOL during and across multiple lines of chemotherapy. This includes patients with (neo)adjuvant therapy up to 3rd or above line palliative chemotherapy.Methods:Lung cancer patients receiving outpatient chemotherapy at the Kufstein County Hospital completed an electronic version of the EORTC QLQ-C30. Linear mixed models were used for statistical analysis.Results:One hundred and eighty seven patients were included in the study. Surprisingly, irrespective of the chemotherapy line patients reported stable QOL scores during treatment. None of the calculated monthly change rates attained clinical significance, referring to established guidelines that classify a small clinical meaningful change as 5 to 10 points. According to treatment line, 3rd or above line palliative chemotherapy was associated with the worst QOL scores, whereas patients undergoing (neo)adjuvant or 1st line palliative chemotherapy reported fairly comparable QOL.Conclusion:The essential finding of our study is that all QOL aspects of the EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire remained unchanged during each chemotherapy line in an unselected population of lung cancer patients. Between treatment lines pronounced differences were found, indicating that later palliative chemotherapy lines are associated with higher QOL impairments. These changes in QOL may not primarily be related to the treatment, but rather refer to impairments due to disease progression and may be partly due to a consequence of the prior therapies. © 2013 Cancer Research UK.


Holzner B.,Innsbruck Medical University | Giesinger J.M.,Innsbruck Medical University | Pinggera J.,University of Innsbruck | Zugal S.,University of Innsbruck | And 8 more authors.
BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making | Year: 2012

Background: Patient-reported Outcomes (PROs) capturing e.g., quality of life, fatigue, depression, medication side-effects or disease symptoms, have become important outcome parameters in medical research and daily clinical practice. Electronic PRO data capture (ePRO) with software packages to administer questionnaires, storing data, and presenting results has facilitated PRO assessment in hospital settings. Compared to conventional paper-pencil versions of PRO instruments, ePRO is more economical with regard to staff resources and time, and allows immediate presentation of results to the medical staff. The objective of our project was to develop software (CHES - Computer-based Health Evaluation System) for ePRO in hospital settings and at home with a special focus on the presentation of individual patient's results. Methods. Following the Extreme Programming development approach architecture was not fixed up-front, but was done in close, continuous collaboration with software end users (medical staff, researchers and patients) to meet their specific demands. Developed features include sophisticated, longitudinal charts linking patients' PRO data to clinical characteristics and to PRO scores from reference populations, a web-interface for questionnaire administration, and a tool for convenient creating and editing of questionnaires. Results: By 2012 CHES has been implemented at various institutions in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and the UK and about 5000 patients participated in ePRO (with around 15000 assessments in total). Data entry is done by the patients themselves via tablet PCs with a study nurse or an intern approaching patients and supervising questionnaire completion. Discussion. During the last decade several software packages for ePRO have emerged for different purposes. Whereas commercial products are available primarily for ePRO in clinical trials, academic projects have focused on data collection and presentation in daily clinical practice and on extending cancer registries with PRO data. CHES includes several features facilitating the use of PRO data for individualized medical decision making. With its web-interface it allows ePRO also when patients are home. Thus, it provides complete monitoring of patients'physical and psychosocial symptom burden. © 2012 Holzner et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Kemmler G.,Innsbruck Medical University | Zabernigg A.,Kufstein County Hospital | Gattringer K.,Kufstein County Hospital | Rumpold G.,Innsbruck Medical University | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Epidemiology | Year: 2010

Objective: Empirical investigation of formerly proposed criteria for relevant changes of health-related quality of life (QOL) regarding their use for monitoring changes in the individual patient. Suggestion of a new criterion trying to overcome the drawbacks of former criteria. Study Design and Setting: QOL data were collected longitudinally in 160 cancer patients receiving chemotherapy at an oncological outpatient unit, giving rise to a total of 975 QOL assessments. QOL was measured using the European Organization on Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Core Questionnaire. Several formerly suggested criteria of relevant change (distribution based, anchor based) were compared in terms of both prevalence and statistical significance of the resulting relevant changes. Results: When considering criteria of relevant change suggested in the literature, high proportions (average: 42.3-48.3%) of reputedly relevant changes were found. The majority of these changes (average: 55.8-62.2%) were statistically insignificant. Combination of an increased threshold for clinical relevance with the concept of statistical significance resulted in a more meaningful change criterion. Conclusion: Formerly recommended thresholds of relevant change in QOL appear to be unduly low when focusing on the individual patient. A modified criterion is therefore suggested for this case. However, more research is needed for validation and refinement of the proposed criterion. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Gamper E.-M.,Innsbruck Medical University | Giesinger J.M.,Innsbruck Medical University | Oberguggenberger A.,Innsbruck Medical University | Kemmler G.,Innsbruck Medical University | And 5 more authors.
Acta Oncologica | Year: 2012

Background. Taste alterations (TAs) are frequently reported by chemotherapy patients. However, research on this topic is very scarce. The etiologies of TAs are not fully known and prevalences may vary across tumour types and chemotherapy regimens. The aim of the present study was to longitudinally investigate TAs in patients with breast cancer or gynaecological cancers receiving chemotherapy, and to provide expected values for TAs for these patient populations. Patients and methods. One hundred and nine cancer patients (32.1% gynaecological cancer, 67.9% breast cancer) receiving chemotherapy at the Department for Internal Medicine of Kufstein County Hospital were consecutively included in the study. At each visit the Quality of Life Questionnaire-Core30 and a screening scale for TAs, consisting of two validated questions taken from the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer item bank was administered. Statistical analysis was performed using mixed-effect models. Results. The prevalence of TAs in breast cancer and gynaecological cancer patients receiving chemotherapy was high (76.1%). There were differences in the extent of TAs as well as in their time course across treatment groups. The lowest TAs were found in breast cancer and gynaecological cancer patients treated with gemcitabine. The highest TAs were found in breast cancer patients treated with epirubicin/docetaxel/capecitabine. The steepest increase of TAs was found in patients treated with epirubicin/docetaxel. Moreover, significant associations between TAs and appetite loss as well as fatigue were found. Conclusion. The results show that TAs are an issue in breast and gynaecological cancer patients receiving different chemotherapy regimens. There is a need for a more systematic investigation of TAs in chemotherapy patients in general as well as the need to address this issue in clinical practice. © 2012 Informa Healthcare.


Gamper E.-M.,Innsbruck Medical University | Zabernigg A.,Kufstein County Hospital | Wintner L.M.,Innsbruck Medical University | Giesinger J.M.,Innsbruck Medical University | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Pain and Symptom Management | Year: 2012

Context: Taste alterations (TAs) and smell alterations (SAs) are frequently observed, yet understudied side effects in chemotherapy patients, considerably affecting patients' quality of life. Objectives: This review provides a systematic evaluation of the literature on TAs and SAs in cancer chemotherapy patients and discloses understudied research questions. Methods: A systematic methodology based on the PRISMA guidelines was applied to identify original research articles with TAs and SAs as primary outcomes in chemotherapy patients. MEDLINE and Embase were searched using Medical Subject Heading and free-text terms. Study extraction and evaluation were done by three reviewers using predefined criteria. Results: The search revealed 22 eligible studies, including three randomized controlled trials. Different measurement approaches were identified, with a clear trend toward self-report measures during the past decade. The methodological quality of the included studies varied, especially reports on SAs, which were inconsistent and hard to interpret. Regarding TAs, there is evidence that taste thresholds increase during chemotherapy. Qualitative changes, for example, metallic taste, are frequent but cannot be attributed to specific chemotherapy regimens. There are large research gaps regarding TAs and SAs in different patient populations and the impact of different chemotherapy regimens. Adequate management strategies are rare. Conclusion: Current research results do not allow firm conclusions concerning the occurrence, severity, and quality of TAs and SAs under different chemotherapy regimens. Patient information on TAs and SAs, therefore, largely is based on the clinician's experience. In the palliative care setting, TAs and SAs need further investigation in the light of their importance in preventing food-related problems and maintaining a reasonable quality of life. © 2012 U.S. Cancer Pain Relief Committee. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Giesinger J.M.,Innsbruck Medical University | Wintner L.M.,Innsbruck Medical University | Oberguggenberger A.S.,Innsbruck Medical University | Gamper E.M.,Innsbruck Medical University | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Palliative Medicine | Year: 2011

Introduction: Due to the high mortality of cancer a large number of patients pass a preterminal phase of their illness. Within this phase medical care aims at maintaining patients' quality of life (QOL) and reducing symptom burden. Our study investigated the patient-reported severity of QOL impairments during the last year of life, with a special focus on their course at the end of life. Methods: All patients with cancer receiving palliative care at Natters State Hospital (Austria) were considered as eligible for the study. QOL data were collected with the EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire as part of computerized patient-reported outcome monitoring (ePROM) within clinical routine. QOL was investigated longitudinally in regard to its course toward death as well as to changes in determinants of global QOL. Results: Eighty-five patients participated in the ePROM (255 assessments in total). Regarding trajectories, physical, role and cognitive functioning, fatigue and global QOL worsened sharply during the last 3 months of life. A steady decline was found for emotional functioning, pain, appetite loss and taste alterations. The impact of role functioning, sleep disturbances, and taste alterations on global QOL increased within the last 3 months of life. Conclusion: Our results indicate that most aspects of QOL are considerably impaired in patients with advanced cancer. Furthermore, they highlight the importance of assessing QOL in general and taste alterations in particular within palliative care. © Copyright 2011, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


PubMed | Netherlands Cancer Institute, Innsbruck Medical University, Lynda Jackson Macmillan Center, Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Quality of life research : an international journal of quality of life aspects of treatment, care and rehabilitation | Year: 2016

To investigate patients and health professionals understanding of and preferences for different graphical presentation styles for individual-level EORTC QLQ-C30 scores.We recruited cancer patients (any treatment and diagnosis) in four European countries and health professionals in the Netherlands. Using a questionnaire, we assessed objective and self-rated understanding of QLQ-C30 scores and preferences for five presentation styles (bar and line charts, with or without color coding, and a heat map).In total, 548 patients and 227 health professionals participated. Eighty-three percent of patients and 85 % of professionals self-rated the graphs as very or quite easy to understand; this did not differ between graphical presentation styles. The mean percentage of correct answers to questions objectively assessing understanding was 59 % in patients, 78 % in medical specialists, and 74 % in other health professionals. Objective understanding did not differ between graphical formats in patients. For non-colored charts, 49.8 % of patients did not have a preference. Colored bar charts (39 %) were preferred over heat maps (20 %) and colored line charts (12 %). Medical specialists preferred heat maps (46 %) followed by non-colored bar charts (19 %), whereas these charts were equally valued by other health professionals (both 32 %).The substantial discrepancy between participants high self-rated and relatively low objective understanding of graphical presentation of PRO results highlights the need to provide sufficient guidance when presenting such results. It may be appropriate to adapt the presentation of PRO results to individual preferences. This could be facilitated when PROs are administered and presented to patients and health professionals electronically.


PubMed | Basingstoke & North Hampshire Hospital, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Innsbruck Medical University, Lynda Jackson Macmillan Center and 2 more.
Type: | Journal: Health and quality of life outcomes | Year: 2016

The EORTC QLQ-C30 is one of the most widely used quality of life questionnaires in cancer research. Availability of thresholds for clinical importance for the individual questionnaire domains could help to increase its interpretability. The aim of our study was to identify thresholds for clinical importance for four EORTC QLQ-C30 scales: Physical Functioning (PF), Emotional Functioning (EF), Pain (PA) and Fatigue (FA).We recruited adult cancer patients from Austria, the Netherlands, Poland and the UK. No restrictions were placed on diagnosis or type or stage of treatment. Patients completed the QLQ-C30 and three anchor items reflecting potential attributes of clinically important levels of PF, EF, PA and FA. We merged the anchor items assessing perceived burden, limitations in daily activities and need for help into a dichotomous external criterion to estimate thresholds for clinical importance using Receiver Operator Characteristic (ROC) analysis.In our sample of 548 cancer patients (mean age 60.6years; 54% female), the QLQ-C30 scales showed high diagnostic accuracy in identifying patients reporting burden, limitations and/or need for help related to PF, EF, PA and FA. All areas under the curve were above 0.86.We were able to estimate thresholds for clinical importance for four QLQ-C30 scales. When used in daily clinical practice, these thresholds can help to identify patients with clinically important problems requiring further exploration and possibly intervention by health care professionals.

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