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Social influence on 5-year survival in a longitudinal chemotherapy ward co-presence network



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.

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Network Science
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