Abstract

Introduction

Long-term treatment with LMWH is the recommended standard for patients with cancer-associated VTE [1, 2]. Data on the long-term prescription of LMWH and treatment follow-up in clinical practice, and particularly the patient’s view on the treatment, are scarce.

The main objective of TROPIQUE was to document the prescription and use of LMWH in these patients. A sub-study aimed to assess patients’ perception of long-term anticoagulant treatment with LMWH based on the validated Perception AntiCoagulant Treatment Questionnaire (PACT-Q) [2].

Methods

Adult cancer patients with recent symptomatic VTE from the TROPIQUE study were asked to fill-in a PACT-Q at inclusion and at 6 months or study end. PACT-Q1 administered at study start included “Treatment Expectations” (7 items) measured by separate scores expressed on a 5-point Likert scale. PACT-Q2 performed at 6 months or at the end of the study included “Convenience” and “Anticoagulant Treatment Satisfaction” (13 and 7 items, respectively) measured by global scores on a 0-to-100 scale.

Results

A total of 409 patients (49.9% female), aged 65±12.1 years, were consecutively included from November 2012 to August 2013. Most of cancers were solid tumors; 81% of patients received chemotherapy and 60.9% of cancers were metastatic.

Mean treatment duration was 5.28 ± 2.07 months and 98.0% of patients were treated for 3 months or more.

PACT-Q1 and PACT-Q2 were collected on a voluntarily basis from 269 (67.8%) and 139 (34.0%) patients, respectively.

At study start patients’ treatment expectations were high, particularly regarding the confidence in the treatment to prevent blood clots (mean 3.94 ± 0.75), the expectations of symptom relief (mean 3.98 ± 1.04) and the importance of ease of use (mean 4.22 ± 0.9) while 54.3% of patients had low or no expectations of treatment-related side effects (bruise, bleeding) (mean 2.45±1.1). The treatment was considered convenient (global score 79.7 ± 17.1), with the majority of patients reporting small or no difficulties with taking the treatment (subcutaneous injections) and with regards to impact on daily life. The impact of treatment-related side effects on activities was reported as low. A proportion of 69.1% of patients were overall satisfied or very satisfied with their anticoagulant treatment whereas the experience with treatment-related side effects was worse or much worse than expected for only 12.9% of patients. The “Anticoagulant Treatment Satisfaction” global score was 62.9 ± 16.7.

Abstract 4272. Table 1:

Cancer patient’s perception of long-term anticoagulant treatment with LMWH [n (%)]

 Selected perception items* Not at all or to
a small extent 
Moderately Very much or extremely Mean score on Likert scale
± SD 
PACT-Q1 Treatment expectations (n=269)
Confident in preventing clots
Symptom relief
Side effects (n=267)
Importance of ease to use 
-
10 (3.7)
22 (8.2)
145 (54.3)
17 (6.3) 
-
45 (16.7)
38 (14.1)
76 (28.5)
14 (5.2) 
-
214 (79.6)
209 (77.7)
46 (17.2)
238 (88.5) 
-
3.94 ± 0.75
3.98 ± 1.04
2.45 ± 1.1
4.22 ± 0.9 
PACT-Q2 Convenience (n=138)
Difficulty in taking treatment (n=137)
Difficulties regarding daily life
Bother in follow-up required
Difficulties on regular intake
Side effects impact on activities 
-
92 (67.2)
101 (73.2)
101 (73.2)
114 (82.6)
116 (84.1) 
-
37 (27)
26 (18.8)
16 (11.6)
17 (12.3)
14 (10.1) 
-
8 (5.8)
11 (8.0)
7 (5.1)
7 (5.1)
8 (5.8) 
79.7 ± 17.1
 
Treatment satisfaction (n=137)
Experience with side effects (n=132) 
Worse or much worse
17 (12.9) 
As expected
55 (41.7) 
Better or much better
60 (45.5) 
62.9 ± 16.7 
Overall satisfaction (n=136) Unsatisfied or very unsatisfied
10 (7.4) 
Neutral
32 (23.5) 
Satisfied or very satisfied
94 (69.1) 
 Selected perception items* Not at all or to
a small extent 
Moderately Very much or extremely Mean score on Likert scale
± SD 
PACT-Q1 Treatment expectations (n=269)
Confident in preventing clots
Symptom relief
Side effects (n=267)
Importance of ease to use 
-
10 (3.7)
22 (8.2)
145 (54.3)
17 (6.3) 
-
45 (16.7)
38 (14.1)
76 (28.5)
14 (5.2) 
-
214 (79.6)
209 (77.7)
46 (17.2)
238 (88.5) 
-
3.94 ± 0.75
3.98 ± 1.04
2.45 ± 1.1
4.22 ± 0.9 
PACT-Q2 Convenience (n=138)
Difficulty in taking treatment (n=137)
Difficulties regarding daily life
Bother in follow-up required
Difficulties on regular intake
Side effects impact on activities 
-
92 (67.2)
101 (73.2)
101 (73.2)
114 (82.6)
116 (84.1) 
-
37 (27)
26 (18.8)
16 (11.6)
17 (12.3)
14 (10.1) 
-
8 (5.8)
11 (8.0)
7 (5.1)
7 (5.1)
8 (5.8) 
79.7 ± 17.1
 
Treatment satisfaction (n=137)
Experience with side effects (n=132) 
Worse or much worse
17 (12.9) 
As expected
55 (41.7) 
Better or much better
60 (45.5) 
62.9 ± 16.7 
Overall satisfaction (n=136) Unsatisfied or very unsatisfied
10 (7.4) 
Neutral
32 (23.5) 
Satisfied or very satisfied
94 (69.1) 

*Only some items selected from the PACT questionnaire are shown

Conclusion

Patients with cancer-associated VTE had high expectations regarding anticoagulant treatment and long-term treatment with LMWH is perceived as convenient with a high degree of patient satisfaction. These results suggest that cancer patient’s capability to accept long-term injectable anticoagulant treatment is probably underestimated. These encouraging observations of patient perception of the anticoagulant therapy are essential in view of improving health professional’s adherence to established treatment recommendations on cancer-associated VTE [3].

1- Farge D, J Thromb Haemost. 2013 Jan;11(1):56-70.

2- Prins MH, Health Qual Life Outcomes, 2009. 7: p. 9.

3- Debourdeau P, Support Care Cancer. 2008 Dec;16(12):1333-41

Disclosures

Farge:Pfizer: Research Funding; LEO Pharma: Research Funding. Debourdeau:Pfizer: Research Funding; LEO Pharma: Research Funding. Cajfinger:Pfizer: Research Funding; LEO Pharma: Research Funding.

Author notes

*

Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.

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