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BMJ Open ; 12(4): e060899, 2022 04 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1854362


INTRODUCTION: The high demand for genetic tests and limited supply of genetics professionals has created a need for alternative service delivery models. Digital tools are increasingly being used to support multiple points in the genetic testing journey; however, none are transferable across multiple clinical specialties and settings nor do they encompass the entire trajectory of the journey. We aim to evaluate the effectiveness of the Genetics Adviser, an interactive, patient-facing, online digital health tool that delivers pre-test counselling, provides support during the waiting period for results, and returns results with post-test counselling, encompassing the entire patient genetic testing journey. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We will compare the Genetics Adviser paired with a brief genetic counselling session to genetic counselling alone in a randomised controlled trial. One hundred and forty patients who previously received uninformative genetic test results for their personal and family history of cancer will be recruited from familial cancer clinics in Toronto and offered all clinically significant results from genomic sequencing. Participants randomised into the intervention arm will use the Genetics Adviser to learn about genomic sequencing, receive pre-test counselling, support during the waiting period and results, supplemented with brief counselling from a genetic counsellor. Participants in the control arm will receive standard pre-test and post-test counselling for genomic sequencing from a genetic counsellor. Our primary outcome is decisional conflict following pre-test counselling from the Genetics Adviser+genetic counsellor or counsellor alone. Secondary outcomes include: knowledge, satisfaction with decision-making, anxiety, quality of life, psychological impact of results, empowerment, acceptability and economic impact for patients and the health system. A subset of patients will be interviewed to assess user experience. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study has been approved by Clinical Trials Ontario Streamlined Research Ethics Review System (REB#20-035). Results will be shared through stakeholder workshops, national and international conferences and peer-reviewed journals. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT04725565.

Counselors , Neoplasms , Genetic Counseling/methods , Genetic Testing/methods , Humans , Quality of Life , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
BMJ ; 375: e066588, 2021 12 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1560914


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of remote proactive management of toxicities during chemotherapy for early stage breast cancer. DESIGN: Pragmatic, cluster randomised trial. SETTING: 20 cancer centres in Ontario, Canada, allocated by covariate constrained randomisation to remote management of toxicities or routine care. PARTICIPANTS: All patients starting adjuvant or neoadjuvant chemotherapy for early stage breast cancer at each centre. 25 patients from each centre completed patient reported outcome questionnaires. INTERVENTIONS: Proactive, standardised, nurse led telephone management of common toxicities at two time points after each chemotherapy cycle. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome, cluster level mean number of visits to the emergency department or admissions to hospital per patient during the whole course of chemotherapy treatment, was evaluated with routinely available administrative healthcare data. Secondary patient reported outcomes included toxicity, self-efficacy, and quality of life. RESULTS: Baseline characteristics of participants were similar in the intervention (n=944) and control arms (n=1214); 22% were older than 65 years. Penetration (that is, the percentage of patients who received the intervention at each centre) was 50-86%. Mean number of visits to the emergency department or admissions to hospital per patient was 0.91 (standard deviation 0.28) in the intervention arm and 0.94 (0.40) in the control arm (P=0.94); 47% (1014 of 2158 patients) had at least one visit to the emergency department or a hospital admission during chemotherapy. Among 580 participants who completed the patient reported outcome questionnaires, at least one grade 3 toxicity was reported by 48% (134 of 278 patients) in the intervention arm and by 58% (163 of 283) in the control arm. No differences in self-efficacy, anxiety, or depression were found. Compared with baseline, the functional assessment of cancer therapy trial outcome index decreased by 6.1 and 9.0 points in the intervention and control participants, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Proactive, telephone based management of toxicities during chemotherapy did not result in fewer visits to the emergency department or hospital admissions. With the rapid rise in remote care because of the covid-19 pandemic, identifying scalable strategies for remote management of patients during cancer treatment is particularly relevant. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT02485678.

Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols/administration & dosage , Breast Neoplasms/drug therapy , Monitoring, Ambulatory/methods , Outpatients , Telemedicine , Telephone , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols/adverse effects , Breast Neoplasms/psychology , COVID-19 , Chemotherapy, Adjuvant/adverse effects , Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , Ontario , Pandemics , Quality of Life , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Treatment Outcome