Background: Providing appropriate surgical treatment for women with ovarian cancer is one of the most effective ways to improve ovarian cancer outcomes. In this study, the authors identified factors that were associated with a measure of comprehensive surgery, so that interventions may be targeted appropriately to improve surgical care.
Methods: Using Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project hospital discharge data from 1999 to 2002 for 9 states, the authors identified 10,432 admissions of women who had an International Classification of Disease, 9th Revision (ICD-9) primary diagnosis of ovarian cancer and who had undergone oophorectomy. Based on National Institutes of Health Consensus Panel recommendations, surgeries were categorized as comprehensive by using ICD-9 diagnosis and procedure codes. Logistic regression analysis using data from 5 states with a full set of variables (n = 6854 patients)was used to identify factors that were associated with the receipt of comprehensive surgical care.
Results: Overall, 66.9% of admissions (range, 46.3-80.8% of admissions) received comprehensive surgery. Factors that were associated independently with comprehensive surgical care included age (ages 21-50 years vs ages 71-80 years or > or = 81 years), race (Caucasian vs African American or Hispanic), payer (private insurance vs Medicaid), cancer stage (advanced vs early), annual surgeon volume (low/medium [2-9 surgeries per year] or high [>10 surgeries per year] vs very low [1 surgery per year]), and surgeon specialty (gynecologic oncologists vs obstetrician gynecologists or general surgeons). Among nonteaching hospitals, medium-volume hospitals (10-19 ovarian cancer surgeries per year) and high-volume hospitals (> or = 20 surgeries per year) had significantly higher comprehensive surgery rates than low-volume facilities (1-9 surgeries per year). Volume did not influence comprehensive surgery rates in teaching hospitals.
Conclusions: Many women with ovarian cancer, especially those in poor, elderly, or minority groups, are not receiving recommended comprehensive surgery. Efforts should be made to ensure that all women with ovarian cancer, especially those in vulnerable populations, have the opportunity to receive care from centers or surgeons with higher comprehensive surgery rates.