ASCO 2016: Ryan Nipp on Symptom Burden and Hospital Length of Stay

Ryan Nipp, MD, discusses a study of symptom burden and hospital length of stay in patients with incurable cancer.

Ryan Nipp, MD, oncology fellow, Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center and Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses a study of symptom burden and hospital length of stay in patients with incurable cancer. This study was presented at the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting.

The objective of this study was to identify how long patients would need to stay at the hospital once admitted. In the study, researchers controlled for covariates (age, gender, cancer type, etc.) and then singled in on specific symptoms.

Pain, nausea, and fatigue all predicted length of stay individually, Nipp says—a finding that will add fuel future intervention studies. Further, pain and depression—if positive for either symptom—both added a full day of hospital stay. On a large scale, one extra day in the hospital can have a big effect on quality of life for a patient, cost effectiveness, and more.