InHealth awards Connecticut hospital social capital research grant

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The Institute for Health Technology Studies (InHealth) has awarded over $238,000 in grant monies to the Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center at Hartford Hospital in Connecticut to research how various prostate cancer treatments can affect a patient's ability to continue working productively.

A research team—led by Andrew L. Salner, MD, director of the center—will study men treated for prostate cancer between 2001 and 2010, during which robotic-aided laparoscopy replaced classical open surgery and standard radiation therapy moved from 3D conformal radiotherapy to intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) with daily imaging.

According to Washington, D.C.-based InHealth, the study will observe three groups of early-stage prostate cancer patients—who will have been actively working when treated—including those treated with brachytherapy using radioactive seeds, those treated with robot-assisted and open surgical techniques and those treated with varying forms of external beam radiation.

The research team will survey each patient on work frequency at diagnosis and during and after treatment and also assess current work frequency. Additionally, paid leaves, unemployment compensation, features of employment, satisfaction with current work compared with the time of diagnosis and the amount of time elapsed before a patient was able to return to work will be recorded.

Employment and salary data for each patient before treatment, six months and three years following treatment will be compared with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, explained the institute.

Study findings are expected in late 2011, said InHealth.