Chemotherapy is often administered in openly designed hospital wards, where the possibility of patient–patient social influence on health exists. Previous research found that social relationships influence cancer patient’s health; however, we have yet to understand social influence among patients receiving chemotherapy in the hospital. We investigate the influence of co-presence in a chemotherapy ward. We use data on 4,691 cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom who average 59.8 years of age, and 44% are Male. We construct a network of patients where edges exist when patients are co-present in the ward, weighted by both patients’ time in the ward. Social influence is based on total weighted co-presence with focal patients’ immediate neighbors, considering neighbors’ 5-year mortality. Generalized estimating equations evaluated the effect of neighbors’ 5-year mortality on focal patient’s 5-year mortality. Each 1,000-unit increase in weighted co-presence with a patient who dies within 5 years increases a patient’s mortality odds by 42% (β = 0.357, CI:0.204,0.510). Each 1,000-unit increase in co-presence with a patient surviving 5 years reduces a patient’s odds of dying by 30% (β =−0.344, CI:−0.538,0.149). Our results suggest that social influence occurs in chemotherapy wards, and thus may need to be considered in chemotherapy delivery.
Social influence on 5-year survival in a longitudinal chemotherapy ward co-presence network
JEFFREY LIENERT, CHRISTOPHER STEVEN MARCUM, JOHN FINNEY, FELIX REED-TSOCHAS