Physician knowledge, practice patterns, and barriers encountered regarding guideline-concordant use of bone modifying agents for prostate cancer.

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BACKGROUND: Guidelines recommend bone-modifying agents (BMAs) for patients with castrate-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) and bone metastasis, but not for castrate-sensitive prostate cancer (CSPC). Physicians beliefs and practices regarding BMA therapy are poorly understood.

METHODS: This was a qualitative interview study with embedded Likert-scale elements. Study participants were physicians who treat prostate cancer, located within an academic cancer center or an affiliated community-based network. Participants were asked about their experiences and practice patterns regarding BMA therapy. Participants used Likert-scale items to identify the most common barriers to guideline-concordant BMA use and the most effective potential interventions. Participants were subsequently asked to rank the three most common barriers and the three most effective interventions to reduce underuse (for CRPC) and overuse (for CSPC).

RESULTS: Nineteen physicians were invited and 15 participated; one physician did not answer some questions as outside of their practice scope. All were aware of the recommendation for BMAs in CRPC. 14% (2/14) were unaware of the recommendation against BMA use for CSPC; an additional 29% (4/14) believed that BMA use could be appropriate for CSPC depending on the metastatic disease burden. 36% (5/14) were unaware of recommendations for screening and treatment of low bone mineral density. The most common barriers (occurring "often" or "sometimes") were obtaining dental clearance (11/15) and insufficient clinic time (6/15). The interventions identified as most effective to reduce underuse were dental navigation (11/15) and electronic medical record (EMR)-based guidance (9/15). The interventions identified as most effective to reduce overuse were peer-to-peer education (14/15) and EMR-based guidance (13/15).

CONCLUSIONS: Awareness of guideline recommendations for screening and treatment of low bone mineral density and against BMA use for CSPC was good, but not complete. Dental navigation, peer-to-peer education, and EMR-based guidance were preferred intervention strategies to improve guideline-concordant use.




Medicine and Health Sciences




Department of Medicine, Hematology-Medical Oncology Division

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