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Trends in Aging‐Related Services During Nephrectomy: Implications for Surgery in an Aging Population

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To characterize the extent to which geriatric and related healthcare services are provided to older adults undergoing surgery for kidney cancer, a potential growth area in geriatrics and oncology.


Population-based observational study.


Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results cancer data linked with Medicare claims.


Adults aged 65 and older with kidney cancer treated surgically from 2000 to 2009 (N = 19,129).


Receipt of geriatric consultation, medical comanagement during the surgical hospitalization, inpatient physical or occupational therapy (PT/OT), and postacute PT/OT during the surgical care episode. Multivariable, mixed-effects models were used to identify associated participant and hospital characteristics, examine trends over time, and characterize hospital-level variation.


Geriatric consultation occurred rarely in the perioperative period (2.6%). Medical comanagement (15.8%), inpatient PT/OT (34.2%), and postacute PT/OT (15.6%) occurred more frequently. In our mixed-effects models, participant age and comorbidity burden appeared to be consistent determinants of use of services, although hospital-level variation was also noted (P < .001). Use of geriatric consultation increased modestly in the latter years of the study period (P < .05). In contrast, medical comanagement (183%), inpatient PT/OT (73%), and postacute PT/OT (71%) increased substantially over the study period (P < .001).


Although geriatric consultation remained sparse, use of medical comanagement and rehabilitation services has grown considerably for older adults undergoing surgery for kidney cancer. Efforts to reorganize cancer and surgery care should explore reasons for variation and the potential for these service elements to meet the health needs of an aging population.

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