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BMJ ; 375: e066588, 2021 12 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1560914

ABSTRACT

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: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02485678.


Subject(s)
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
2.
BMJ ; 374: n1647, 2021 07 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1320441

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate effects of remote monitoring of adjuvant chemotherapy related side effects via the Advanced Symptom Management System (ASyMS) on symptom burden, quality of life, supportive care needs, anxiety, self-efficacy, and work limitations. DESIGN: Multicentre, repeated measures, parallel group, evaluator masked, stratified randomised controlled trial. SETTING: Twelve cancer centres in Austria, Greece, Norway, Republic of Ireland, and UK. PARTICIPANTS: 829 patients with non-metastatic breast cancer, colorectal cancer, Hodgkin's disease, or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma receiving first line adjuvant chemotherapy or chemotherapy for the first time in five years. INTERVENTION: Patients were randomised to ASyMS (intervention; n=415) or standard care (control; n=414) over six cycles of chemotherapy. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome was symptom burden (Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale; MSAS). Secondary outcomes were health related quality of life (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General; FACT-G), Supportive Care Needs Survey Short-Form (SCNS-SF34), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory-Revised (STAI-R), Communication and Attitudinal Self-Efficacy scale for cancer (CASE-Cancer), and work limitations questionnaire (WLQ). RESULTS: For the intervention group, symptom burden remained at pre-chemotherapy treatment levels, whereas controls reported an increase from cycle 1 onwards (least squares absolute mean difference -0.15, 95% confidence interval -0.19 to -0.12; P<0.001; Cohen's D effect size=0.5). Analysis of MSAS sub-domains indicated significant reductions in favour of ASyMS for global distress index (-0.21, -0.27 to -0.16; P<0.001), psychological symptoms (-0.16, -0.23 to -0.10; P<0.001), and physical symptoms (-0.21, -0.26 to -0.17; P<0.001). FACT-G scores were higher in the intervention group across all cycles (mean difference 4.06, 95% confidence interval 2.65 to 5.46; P<0.001), whereas mean scores for STAI-R trait (-1.15, -1.90 to -0.41; P=0.003) and STAI-R state anxiety (-1.13, -2.06 to -0.20; P=0.02) were lower. CASE-Cancer scores were higher in the intervention group (mean difference 0.81, 0.19 to 1.43; P=0.01), and most SCNS-SF34 domains were lower, including sexuality needs (-1.56, -3.11 to -0.01; P<0.05), patient care and support needs (-1.74, -3.31 to -0.16; P=0.03), and physical and daily living needs (-2.8, -5.0 to -0.6; P=0.01). Other SCNS-SF34 domains and WLQ were not significantly different. Safety of ASyMS was satisfactory. Neutropenic events were higher in the intervention group. CONCLUSIONS: Significant reduction in symptom burden supports the use of ASyMS for remote symptom monitoring in cancer care. A "medium" Cohen's effect size of 0.5 showed a sizable, positive clinical effect of ASyMS on patients' symptom experiences. Remote monitoring systems will be vital for future services, particularly with blended models of care delivery arising from the covid-19 pandemic. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02356081.


Subject(s)
Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols/administration & dosage , Cell Phone , Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions/diagnosis , Quality of Life , Telemedicine/methods , Adult , Aged , Austria , Breast Neoplasms/psychology , Breast Neoplasms/therapy , Chemotherapy, Adjuvant/adverse effects , Colorectal Neoplasms/psychology , Colorectal Neoplasms/therapy , Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions/etiology , Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions/psychology , Female , Greece , Hodgkin Disease/psychology , Hodgkin Disease/therapy , Humans , Ireland , Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin/psychology , Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin/therapy , Male , Middle Aged , Norway , Telemedicine/instrumentation , Treatment Outcome , United Kingdom
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