There is growing concern about the human and technical quality of care received by Americans with cancer. To this end, this contract sought to describe the care received by typical cancer patients in several US communities. The overall goal of the project was to provide a comprehensive assessment of the quality of American cancer care, especially quality as perceived and experienced by patients and their families in undergoing care, to illuminate the factors that facilitate or impede high quality cancer care in communities. We synthesized information from the literature; interviews with health policy experts, healthcare leaders, and researchers; and site visits to three communities where we have conducted focus groups involving practicing clinicians, other care providers, and patients and families. The three site visits, which including two CRN communities, Detroit, MI and the Worcester, MA area of Central Massachusetts, involved visits to multiple organizations that provide services to cancer patients. The information collected has contributed to the development of a conceptual framework that defines the characteristics of effective systems of cancer care.
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