Improving the management of pain from advanced cancer in the community: study protocol for a pragmatic multicentre randomised controlled trial.
ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION:For patients with advanced cancer, research shows that pain is frequent, burdensome and undertreated. Evidence-based approaches to support cancer pain management have been developed but have not been implemented within the context of the UK National Health Service. This protocol is for a pragmatic multicentre randomised controlled trial (RCT) to assess feasibility, acceptability, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness for a multicomponent intervention for pain management in patients with advanced cancer. METHODS AND ANALYSIS:This trial will assess the feasibility of implementation and uptake of evidence-based interventions, developed and piloted as part of the Improving the Management of Pain from Advanced Cancer in the Community Programme grant, into routine clinical practice and determine whether there are potential differences with respect to patient-rated pain, patient pain knowledge and experience, healthcare use, quality of life and cost-effectiveness. 160 patients will receive either the intervention (usual care plus supported self-management) delivered within the oncology clinic and palliative care services by locally assigned community palliative care nurses, consisting of a self-management educational intervention and eHealth intervention for routine pain assessment and monitoring; or usual care. The primary outcomes are to assess implementation and uptake of the interventions, and differences in terms of pain severity. Secondary outcomes include pain interference, participant pain knowledge and experience, and cost-effectiveness. Outcome assessment will be blinded and patient-reported outcome measures collected via post at 6 and 12 weeks following randomisation. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION:This RCT has the potential to significantly influence National Health Service delivery to community-based patients with pain from advanced cancer. We aim to provide definitive evidence of whether two simple interventions delivered by community palliative care nurse in palliative care that support-self-management are clinically effective and cost-effective additions to standard community palliative care. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER:ISRCTN18281271; Pre-results.
Project description:Importance:Strategies to increase access to palliative care, particularly for racial/ethnic minorities, must maximize primary palliative care and community-based models to meet the ever-growing need in a culturally sensitive and congruent manner. Objective:To investigate if a culturally tailored patient navigator intervention can improve palliative care outcomes for Latino adults with advanced cancer. Design, Setting, and Participants:The Apoyo con Cariño (Support With Caring) randomized clinical trial was conducted from July 2012 to March 2016. The setting was clinics across the state of Colorado, including an academic National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center, community cancer clinics (urban and rural), and a safety-net cancer center. Participants were adults who self-identified as Latino and were being treated for advanced cancer. Intervention:Culturally tailored patient navigator intervention. Main Outcomes and Measures:Primary outcome measures were advance care planning in the medical record, the Brief Pain Inventory, and hospice use. Secondary outcome measures included the McGill Quality of Life Questionnaire (MQOL), hospice length of stay, and aggressiveness of care at the end of life. This study used an intent-to-treat design. Results:In total, 223 Latino adults enrolled (mean [SD] age, 58.1 [13.6] years; 55.6% female) and were randomized to control (n?=?111) or intervention (n?=?112) groups. Intervention group patients were more likely to have a documented advance directive compared with control group patients (73 of 112 [65.2%] vs 40 of 111 [36.0%], P?<?.001). Both groups reported mild pain intensity (mean pain rating of 3 on a scale of 0-10). Intervention group patients had a mean (SD) reported change from baseline in the Brief Pain Inventory pain severity subscale score (range, 0-10) of 0.1 (2.6) vs 0.2 (2.7) in control group patients (P?=?.88) and a mean (SD) reported change from baseline in the Brief Pain Inventory pain interference subscale score of 0.1 (3.2) vs -0.2 (3.0) in control group patients (P?=?.66). Hospice use was similar in both groups. Secondary outcomes of overall MQOL score and aggressiveness of care at the end of life showed no significant differences between groups. The MQOL physical subscale showed a mean (SD) significant change from baseline of 1.4 (3.1) in the intervention group vs 0.1 (3.0) in the control group (P?=?.004). Conclusions and Relevance:The intervention had mixed results. The intervention increased advance care planning and improved physical symptoms; however, it had no effect on pain management and hospice use or overall quality of life. Further research is needed to determine the role and scope of lay navigators in palliative care. Trial Registration:ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01695382.
Project description:The progressive nature of heart failure (HF) coupled with high mortality and poor quality of life mandates greater attention to palliative care as a routine component of advanced HF management. Limited evidence exists from randomized, controlled trials supporting the use of interdisciplinary palliative care in HF.PAL-HF is a prospective, controlled, unblinded, single-center study of an interdisciplinary palliative care intervention in 200 patients with advanced HF estimated to have a high likelihood of mortality or rehospitalization in the ensuing 6 months. The 6-month PAL-HF intervention focuses on physical and psychosocial symptom relief, attention to spiritual concerns, and advanced care planning. The primary end point is health-related quality of life measured by the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire and the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy with Palliative Care Subscale score at 6 months. Secondary end points include changes in anxiety/depression, spiritual well-being, caregiver satisfaction, cost and resource utilization, and a composite of death, HF hospitalization, and quality of life.PAL-HF is a randomized, controlled clinical trial that will help evaluate the efficacy and cost effectiveness of palliative care in advanced HF using a patient-centered outcome as well as clinical and economic end points.
Project description:Pain is a prevalent and distressing symptom in patients with cancer, having an enormous impact on functioning and quality of life. Fragmentation of care, inadequate pain communication, and reluctance towards pain medication contribute to difficulties in optimizing outcomes. Integration of patient self-management and professional care by means of healthcare technology provides new opportunities in the outpatient setting.This study protocol outlines a two-armed multicenter randomized controlled trial that compares a technology based multicomponent self-management support intervention with care as usual and includes an effect, economic and process evaluation. Patients will be recruited consecutively via the outpatient oncology clinics and inpatient oncology wards of one academic hospital and one regional hospital in the south of the Netherlands. Irrespective of the stage of disease, patients are eligible when they are diagnosed with cancer and have uncontrolled moderate to severe cancer (treatment) related pain defined as NRS?4 for more than two weeks. Randomization (1:1) will assign patients to either the intervention or control group; patients in the intervention group receive self-management support and patients in the control group receive care as usual. The intervention will be delivered by registered nurses specialized in pain and palliative care. Important components include monitoring of pain, adverse effects and medication as well as graphical feedback, education, and nurse support. Effect measurements for both groups will be carried out with questionnaires at baseline (T0), after 4 weeks (T1) and after 12 weeks (T2). Pain intensity and quality of life are the primary outcomes. Secondary outcomes include self-efficacy, knowledge, anxiety, depression and pain medication use. The final questionnaire contains also questions for the economic evaluation that includes both cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analysis. Data for the process evaluation will be gathered continuously over the study period and focus on recruitment, reach, dose delivered and dose received.The proposed study will provide insight into the effectiveness of the self-management support intervention delivered by nurses to outpatients with uncontrolled cancer pain. Study findings will be used to empower patients and health professionals to improve cancer pain control.NCT02333968 December 29, 2014.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Patients with advanced cancer, receiving at-home palliative care, are subject to numerous symptoms that are changeable and often require attention, a stressful situation that also impacts on the family caregiver. It has been suggested that music therapy may benefit both the patient and the caregiver. We propose a study to analyse the efficacy and cost utility of a music intervention programme, applied as complementary therapy, for cancer patients in palliative care and for their at-home caregivers, compared to usual treatment. METHOD:A randomised, double-blind, multicentre clinical trial will be performed in cancer patients in at-home palliative care and their family caregivers. The study population will include two samples of 40 patients and two samples of 41 caregivers. Participants will be randomly assigned either to the intervention group or to the control group. The intervention group will receive a seven-day programme including music sessions, while the control group will receive seven sessions of (spoken word) therapeutic education. In this study, the primary outcome measure is the assessment of patients' symptoms, according to the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System, and of the overload experienced by family caregivers, measured by the Caregiver Strain Index. The secondary outcomes considered will be the participants' health-related quality of life, their satisfaction with the intervention, and an economic valuation. DISCUSSION:This study is expected to enhance our understanding of the efficacy and cost-utility of music therapy for cancer patients in palliative care and for their family caregivers. The results of this project are expected to be applicable and transferrable to usual clinical practice for patients in home palliative care and for their caregivers. The approach described can be incorporated as an additional therapeutic resource within comprehensive palliative care. To our knowledge, no previous high quality studies, based on a double-blind clinical trial, have been undertaken to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of music therapy. The cost-effectiveness of the project will provide information to support decision making, thereby improving the management of health resources and their use within the health system. TRIAL REGISTRATION:The COMTHECARE study is registered at Clinical Trials.gov, NCT04052074. Registered 9 August, 2019.
Project description:Pain and depression are prevalent and treatable symptoms among patients with cancer, yet they are often undetected and undertreated. The Indiana Cancer Pain and Depression (INCPAD) trial demonstrated that telecare management can improve pain and depression outcomes. This article investigates the incremental cost effectiveness of the INCPAD intervention.The INCPAD trial was conducted in 16 community-based urban and rural oncology practices in Indiana. Of the 405 participants, 202 were randomized to the intervention group and 203 to the usual-care group. Intervention costs were determined, and effectiveness outcomes were depression-free days and quality-adjusted life years.The intervention group was associated with a yearly increase of 60.3 depression-free days (S.E. = 15.4; P < 0.01) and an increase of between 0.033 and 0.066 quality-adjusted life years compared to the usual care group. Total cost of the intervention per patient was US$1189, which included physician, nurse care manager and automated monitoring set-up and maintenance costs. Incremental cost per depression-free day was US$19.72, which yields a range of US$18,018 to US$36,035 per quality-adjusted life year when converted to that metric. When measured directly, the incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year ranged from US$10,826 based on the modified EQ-5D to US$73,286.92 based on the SF-12.Centralized telecare management, coupled with automated symptom monitoring, appears to be a cost effective intervention for managing pain and depression in cancer patients.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Patients with advanced pancreatic cancer suffer from high morbidity and mortality. Specialty palliative care may improve quality of life. OBJECTIVE:Assess the feasibility, acceptability, and perceived effectiveness of early specialty physician-led palliative care for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer and their caregivers. DESIGN:A mixed-methods pilot randomized controlled trial in which patient-caregiver pairs were randomized (2:1) to receive specialty palliative care, in addition to standard oncology care versus standard oncology care alone. SETTING/SUBJECTS:At a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in Western Pennsylvania, 30 patients with advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma and their caregivers (N?=?30), oncologists (N?=?4), and palliative care physicians (N?=?3) participated. MEASUREMENTS:Feasibility (enrollment, three-month outcome-assessment, and intervention completion rates), acceptability, and perceived effectiveness (process interviews with patients, caregivers, and physicians). RESULTS:Consent:approach rate was 49%, randomized:consent rate 55%, and three-month outcome assessment rate 75%. Two patients and three caregivers withdrew early. The three-month mortality rate was 13%. Patients attended a mean of 1.3 (standard deviation 1.1) palliative care visits during the three-month period. Positive experiences with palliative care included receiving emotional support and symptom management. Negative experiences included inconvenience, long travel times, spending too much time at the cancer center, and no perceived palliative care needs. Physicians suggested embedding palliative care within oncology clinics, tailoring services to patient needs, and facilitating face-to-face communication between oncologists and palliative physicians. CONCLUSIONS:A randomized trial of early palliative care for advanced pancreatic cancer did not achieve feasibility goals. Integrating palliative care within oncology clinics may increase acceptability and perceived effectiveness.
Project description:The addition of specialty palliative care to standard oncology care improves outcomes for patients with advanced cancer and their caregivers, but many lack access to specialty care services. Primary palliative care-meaning basic palliative care services provided by clinicians who are not palliative care specialists-is an alternative approach that has not been rigorously evaluated.A cluster randomized, controlled trial of the CONNECT (Care management by Oncology Nurses to address supportive care needs) intervention, an oncology nurse-led care management approach to providing primary palliative care for patients with advanced cancer and their family caregivers, is currently underway at 16 oncology practices in Western Pennsylvania. Existing oncology nurses are trained to provide symptom management and emotional support, engage patients and families in advance care planning, and coordinate appropriate care using evidence-based care management strategies. The trial will assess the impact of CONNECT versus standard oncology care on patient quality of life (primary outcome), symptom burden, and mood; caregiver burden and mood; and healthcare resource use.This trial addresses the need for more accessible models of palliative care by evaluating an intervention led by oncology nurses that can be widely disseminated in community oncology settings. The design confronts potential biases in palliative care research by randomizing at the practice level to avoid contamination, enrolling patients prior to informing them of group allocation, and conducting blinded outcome assessments. By collecting patient, caregiver, and healthcare utilization outcomes, the trial will enable understanding of the full range of a primary palliative care intervention's impact.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>To develop a novel digital intervention to optimise cancer pain control in the community. This paper describes intervention development, content/rationale and initial feasibility testing.<h4>Methods</h4>Determinants of suboptimal cancer pain management were characterised through two systematic reviews; patient, caregiver and healthcare professional (HCP) interviews (n?=?39); and two HCP focus groups (n?=?12). Intervention mapping was used to translate results into theory-based content, creating the app "Can-Pain". Patients with/without a linked caregiver, their general practitioners and community palliative care nurses were recruited to feasibility test Can-Pain over 4 weeks.<h4>Results</h4>Patients on strong opioids described challenges balancing pain levels with opioid intake, side effects and activities and communicating about pain management problems with HCPs. Can-Pain addresses these challenges through educational resources, contemporaneous short-acting opioid tracking and weekly patient-reported outcome monitoring. Novel aspects of Can-Pain include the use of contemporaneous breakthrough analgesic reports as a surrogate measure of pain control and measuring the level at which pain becomes bothersome to the individual. Patients were unwell due to advanced cancer, making recruitment to feasibility testing difficult. Two patients and one caregiver used Can-Pain for 4 weeks, sharing weekly reports with four HCPs. Can-Pain highlighted unrecognised problems, promoted shared understanding about symptoms between patients and HCPs and supported shared decision-making.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Preliminary testing suggests that Can-Pain is feasible and could promote patient-centred pain management. We will conduct further small-scale evaluations to inform a future randomised, stepped-wedge trial.<h4>Trial registration</h4>Qualitative research: ClinicalTrials.gov , reference NCT02341846 Feasibility study: NIHR CPMS database ID 34172.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Palliative care coverage and opioid consumption in India are relatively low compared with global data. The literature suggests commonplace concealment and collusion in withholding information, but these hypotheses lack evidence. OBJECTIVES:This study aimed to develop an explanatory evidence-based model of stigma, communication and access to cancer palliative care in India that can be used to develop, test and implement future interventions. DESIGN:This cross-sectional qualitative study sampled advanced cancer patients (n=10), their family caregivers (n=10) and oncologists (n=10). Grounded theory procedures were utilised to analyse transcripts, and a theoretical model generated. SETTING:A tertiary teaching hospital in South India. RESULTS:The model explains how stigma associated with communicating a diagnosis of advanced cancer is enacted by treating oncologists, family members and community. This leads to patient expectations of cure and futile treatment uptake. Patients commonly only present needs with respect to pain, not within psychological, social or spiritual domains, likely due to the lack of patients' insight into their diagnosis and prognosis. As a result of oncologists' and families' unwillingness to disclose the prognosis, and patient focus on pain due to their lack of insight, palliative care clinicians view their services as under-utilised, and patients perceive palliative care as a pain management service that is not 'different' from other clinical services. Advanced care needs and purchase of futile treatments lead to lost employment among families, increased family debt and high care costs, which are rarely disclosed due to their unwillingness to discuss their needs. CONCLUSION:Our novel theoretical model is an essential first step to ensure that complex interventions are plausible, with mechanisms of action that address the needs of relevant stakeholders. A family-centred approach with an oncology workforce skilled in communication and an enabled patient population could increase access to palliative care, and improved outcomes may be attainable.
Project description:The lack of timely symptom reporting remains a barrier to effective symptom management and comfort for patients with cancer-related palliative care needs. Poor symptom management at home can lead to unwanted outcomes, such as emergency department visits and death in hospital. We developed and evaluated RELIEF, a remote symptom self-reporting app for community patients with palliative care needs. A pilot feasibility study was conducted at a large, community hospital in Ontario, Canada. Patients self-reported their symptoms each morning using validated clinical symptom measures and RELIEF would alert for worsening or severe symptoms. RELIEF alerts were monitored by palliative care nurses who would then contact patients to determine if appropriate clinical intervention could be initiated to avoid unnecessary emergency department visits. A total of 20 patients were recruited to use RELIEF for two months. Patients completed 80% of daily self-report assessments; 133 alerts were trigged, half of which required clinical intervention. No patient visited the emergency department for symptom management during the study. Clinical staff estimated five emergency department visits were avoided because of RELIEF-saving an estimated cost of over CAD 60,000. RELIEF is a feasible and acceptable method for the remote monitoring of patients with palliative care needs through regular symptom self-reporting.