July 10, 1987

Day-care Setting for Intensive Chemotherapy May Raise Patients' Spirits, Lower Hospital Bills

JAMA. 1987;258(2):172-173. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400020014004

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ADULT DAY CARE can provide an equally effective but less expensive alternative to hospitalization for patients undergoing intensive cancer chemotherapy, according to a study conducted by investigators at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

Richard J. Gralla, MD, reported in Atlanta at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology that he and his associates had conducted a prospective study in which 440 patients were randomized to receive chemotherapy either while hospitalized or in a day-care setting. All patients met certain criteria: they required professional care for at least four hours but for less than eight hours three days a week; they were enrolled in treatment protocols that usually required hospital admission; and they lived with a person who was willing to assist with home care or emergencies. From February 1984 through January 1986, 229 patients were assigned to day care, 211 to hospital care.