This research project is in progress. PCORI will post the research findings on this page within 90 days after the results are final.
What is the research about?
Patients with serious cancers often have symptoms that affect their quality of life. Palliative care focuses on improving patients’ quality of life by providing relief from the side effects of treatment and symptoms such as pain or anxiety. Palliative care clinicians can also help patients and their families talk about difficult topics, such as care at the end of life.
Patients can benefit from starting palliative care when they are diagnosed with a serious cancer. But many patients with serious cancer do not start palliative care early. Many hospitals and cancer clinics don’t have staff to provide this type of care for all patients. In addition, many patients live too far away to go to a clinic for palliative care visits. Video visits may be one way to provide palliative care to patients who can’t access such care in person. This study is comparing how in-person palliative care versus care given through video visits affects quality of life, mood, and satisfaction with care in patients with advanced lung cancer and their caregivers.
Who can this research help?
Hospital and cancer clinic administrators can use results from this study to plan ways to offer palliative care for patients with cancer.
What is the research team doing?
The research team is working with 20 clinics to enroll 1,250 patients with a recent diagnosis of advanced lung cancer and their caregivers. The team is assigning patients by chance to receive in-person palliative care or care via video visits. Half of the patients and their caregivers have monthly meetings with a palliative care provider at the clinic. The rest of the patients and their caregivers have monthly video visits with a palliative care provider via a smartphone or computer.
Patients may remain in the study for up to five years. The team is comparing
- Patient quality of life
- Whether patients who are dying discuss their wishes for care at the end of life with their provider
- How long patients stay in hospice
- Whether caregivers attend palliative care visits
- Patient and caregiver satisfaction with care
- How patients cope with their disease
- Patient and caregiver understanding of their diagnosis
- Patient and caregiver mood
Patients, caregivers, oncology and palliative care providers, and representatives from health systems and insurers are working with the research team to design and implement the study.