Integration of screening and symptom management into cancer care may be beneficial in reducing depression, pain, and fatigue, as well as improving quality of life, according to a study published in Cancer.1

Researchers led by Jennifer Steel, PhD, of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in PA, looked at 261 patients with advanced cancer and 179 family caregivers who were randomized to a web-based collaborative care intervention or enhanced usual care.

Intervention included a web site with written and audiovisual self-management strategies, visits with a care coordinator during a physician’s appointment every 2 months, and a telephone follow-up every 2 weeks.

At baseline, the study found that 51% of patients reported 1 or more symptoms in the clinical range. Patients who presented with clinical levels of symptoms and were randomized to the intervention were found to have reductions in depression, pain, and fatigue, as well as improvements in quality of life compared to those in the enhanced usual care group at 6 months.

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Additionally, they found reductions in interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1β, IL-1α, and IL-8, as well as increases in natural killer cell numbers in the intervention group compared to the usual care group.

Reference

  1. Steel JL, Geller DA, Kim KH, et al. Web-based collaborative care intervention to manage cancer-related symptoms in the palliative care setting [published online ahead of print March 11, 2016]. Cancer. doi: 10.1002/cncr.29906.