The next generation of collaborative care: The design of a novel web-based stepped collaborative care intervention delivered via telemedicine for people diagnosed with cancer

Jennifer L. Steel, Vincent Reyes, Dan P. Zandberg, Marci Nilsen, Lauren Terhorst, Geena Richards, Bhanu Pappu, Gauri Kiefer, Jonas Johnson, Michael Antoni, Yoram Vodovotz, Michael Spring, Jon Walker, David A. Geller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The NIH consensus statement on cancer-related symptoms concluded the most common and debilitating were depression, pain and fatigue [1–6]. Although the comorbidity of these symptoms is well known and may have similar underlying biological mechanisms no intervention has been developed to reduce these symptoms concurrently. The novel web-based stepped collaborative care intervention delivered by telemedicine is the first to be tested in people diagnosed with cancer. Methods: We plan to test a web-based stepped collaborative care intervention with 450 cancer patients and 200 caregivers in the context of a randomized controlled trial. The primary endpoint is quality of life with other primary outcomes including patient-reported depression, pain, fatigue. Secondary outcomes include patient serum levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and disease progression. We also will assess informal caregiver stress, depression, and metabolic abnormalities to determine if improvements in patients' symptoms also relate to improvement in caregiver outcomes. Results: The trial is ongoing and a total of 382 patients have been randomized. Preliminary analyses of the screening tools used for study entry suggest that Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression (CES[sbnd]D) scale has good sensitivity and specificity (0.81 and 0.813) whereas the scale used to assess pain (0.47 and 0.91) and fatigue (0.11 and 0.91) had poor sensitivity but excellent specificity. Using the AUROC, the best cut point for the CES-D was 19, for pain was 4.5; and for fatigue was 2.5. Outcomes not originally proposed included health care utilization and healthcare charges. The first 100 patients who have been followed a year post-treatment, and who were less than 75 years and randomized to the web-based stepped collaborative care intervention, had lower rates of complications after surgery [χ2 = 5.45, p = 0.02]. For patients who survived 6 months or less and were randomized to the web-based stepped collaborative care intervention, had lower rates of 90-day readmissions when compared to patients randomized to the screening and referral arm [χ2 = 4.0, p = 0.046]. Patients randomized to the collaborative care intervention arm had lower overall health care activity-based costs of $16,758 per patient per year when compared to the screening and referral arm. Discussion: This novel web-based stepped stepped collaborative care intervention, delivered via telemedicine, is expected to provide a new strategy to improve the quality of life in those diagnosed with cancer and their caregivers. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02939755

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106295
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
Volume105
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Oncology
  • Pain
  • Palliative care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)

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