The development of a regional referral pathway for locally recurrent rectal cancer: A Delphi consensus study.


Limousin Oncology-Hematology Network (ROHLim), 87000, Limoges, France. Electronic address: [Email]


BACKGROUND : The management of patients with locally recurrent rectal cancer (LRRC) is often complex and requires multidisciplinary input whereas only few patients are referred to a specialist centre. The aim of this study was to design a regional referral pathway for LRRC, in Nouvelle Aquitaine (South-West, France).
METHODS : In 2016, we conducted with a Study Steering Committee (SC) a three phase mixed-methods study including identification of key factors, identification of key stakeholders and Delphi voting consensus. During three rounds of Delphi voting, a consensus was defined as favorable, if at least 80% of participating experts rate the factor, below or equal to 3/10 using a Likert scale, or consider it as "useful" using a binary scale (third round only). Finally, the SC drafted guidelines.
RESULTS : Among the 423 physicians involved in 29 regional digestive Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) meeting, 59 participants (from 26 MDT meeting) completed all three rounds of Delphi voting. Thirteen out of twenty initially selected factors reached a favorable consensus. All patients with a LRRC need to be included into a referral pathway. Patients with a central pelvic recurrence offered curative treatment in their local hospital and patients with unresectable metastatic disease were excluded of the referral. Key performance indicators were also agreed including the time to referral and completion of pelvic MRI-, CT-, PET-scan prior to MDT referral.
CONCLUSIONS : The development of this referral pathway represents an innovative health service, which will improve the management of patients with LRRC in France.


Delphi consensus,Locally recurrent rectal cancer,Referral pathway,

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