Melanoma Coverage from Every Angle

Quality Care 2019: Effect of Interdisciplinary Shared Medical Appointments on Melanoma Survivors

By: Lauren Harrison, MS
Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Interdisciplinary shared medical appointments for survivors of early-stage melanoma appear to yield high rates of patient satisfaction, improvement in clinical knowledge, and adherence to routine follow-ups. Benjamin Switzer, DO, MHSA, MS, of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and colleagues described their study results at the 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Quality Care Symposium in San Diego (Abstract 230).

Interdisciplinary shared medical appointments allow practitioners to see multiple patients together for a longer time than a typical appointment. The Cleveland Clinic’s Early Stage Melanoma Survivorship Shared Medical Appointment interdisciplinary care team explored survivorship and prevention techniques and modifiable behaviors for patients to explore together. Using retrospective chart review, the team was able to assess the shared medical appointment program based on demographics, participation rates, changes in depression scores, follow-up rates, and surveys after appointments.

A total of 477 patients with early-stage melanoma were seen at the Cleveland Clinic while shared medical appointments were implemented (from June 2018 to April 2019). Of these patients, just 19.1% attended oncology follow-up appointments, and 7.1% participated in shared medical appointments. Those involved in the shared appointments reported high rates of satisfaction and increased melanoma-related knowledge. Also, more than 92% of this group took part in subsequent oncology and dermatology appointments, compared with just 74% and 73% for patients who did not have shared appointments, respectively.

However, there was no significant improvement noted in depression and anxiety scores for patients in the shared appointment or nonshared appointment groups. Younger (aged 56 vs. 61) and female (56% vs. 30%) patient cohorts had higher attendance rates for shared medical appointments, whereas there was no difference for social history, marital status, or socioeconomic region.

Disclosure: The study authors’ disclosure information may be found at

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