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BMC Cancer

, 15:443

Clinical oncology


BackgroundInternational medical organizations such as the American Society of Medical Oncology recommend early palliative care as the -gold standard- for palliative care in patients with advanced cancer. Nevertheless, even in Comprehensive Cancer Centers, early palliative care is not yet routine practice. The main goal of the EVI project is to evaluate whether early palliative care can be implemented—in the sense of -putting evidence into practice-—into the everyday clinical practice of Comprehensive Cancer Centers. In addition, we are interested in 1 describing the type of support that patients would like from palliative care, 2 gaining information about the effect of palliative care on patients’ quality of life, and 3 understanding the economic burden of palliative care on patients and their families.

Methods-designThe EVI project is a multi-center, prospective cohort study with a sequential control group design. The study is a project of the Palliative Care Center of Excellence KOMPACT in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, which was recently established to combine the expertise of five academic, specialist palliative care departments. The study is divided into two phases: preliminary phase months 1–9 and main study phase months 10–18. In each of all five participating academic Comprehensive Cancer Centers, an experienced palliative care physician will be hired for 18 months. During the preliminary phase, the physician will be allowed time to establish the necessary structures for early palliative care within the Comprehensive Cancer Center. In the main study phase, patients with metastatic cancer will be offered a consultation with the palliative care physician within eight weeks of diagnosis. After the initial consultation, follow-up consultations will be offered as needed. The study is built upon a convergent parallel design. In the quantitative arm, patients will be surveyed in both the preliminary and main study phase at three points in time baseline, 12 weeks, 24 weeks. Standardized questionnaires will be used to measure patients’ quality of life, symptom burden and mood. Using interviews with palliative care physicians, oncologists, department heads, patients and their caregivers, the qualitative arm will explore 1 what factors encourage and hinder the early integration of palliative care into standard oncology care, 2 what support patients and their caregivers would like from palliative care, and 3 what effect palliative care has on the economic disease burden of patients and their families.

DiscussionThe study proposed is meant to serve as a catalyzer. Local palliative care teams should be put in position to routinely cooperate with the primary treating department at their respective cancer center. The long-term goal of this project is to create sustainable improvements in the care of patients with incurable cancer.

Trial registrationDRKS00006162; date of registration: 19-05-2014

KeywordsCancer Terminally ill patients Early palliative care AbbreviationsPCPalliative Care EPC Early Palliative Care

NSCLCNon-Small Cell Lung Cancer

QoLQuality of life

ASCOAmerican Society of Medical Oncology

CCCComprehensive Cancer Center

POSPalliative Outcome Scale

EORTCEuropean Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer

HADSHospital Anxiety and Depression Scale

Cornelia Meffert and Jan Gaertner contributed equally to this work.

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Autor: Cornelia Meffert - Jan Gaertner - Katharina Seibel - Karin Jors - Hubert Bardenheuer - Dieter Buchheidt - Regine Mayer-Stei

Fuente: https://link.springer.com/

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