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?
Acute myeloid leukemia, or AML, is a type of blood cancer. AML symptoms like fatigue and shortness of breath can develop quickly. When this occurs, patients often need to go to the hospital right away to start chemotherapy. Many patients must also go back to the hospital for more treatment. Managing symptoms, emotional distress, and care needs can be hard for patients and caregivers.
Palliative care can help patients and caregivers by focusing on:
- Managing symptoms
- Easing pain and discomfort
- Improving quality of life
- Managing social and emotional issues
- Improving communication with the medical team
In this study, the research team is comparing two ways of providing palliative care to improve quality of life among patients with AML.
Who can this research help?
Results may help health systems when considering ways to provide palliative care to patients with AML.
What is the research team doing?
The research team is assigning 20 hospitals by chance to provide one of two types of palliative care:
- Primary palliative care. Cancer clinicians provide both standard cancer care and palliative care to patients with AML. Cancer clinicians see patients daily during their hospital stay.
- Specialty palliative care. Cancer clinicians provide standard cancer care to patients with AML, but palliative care clinicians provide palliative care. These clinicians see the patient twice a week when the patient is in the hospital.
In both types of care, the research team is training clinicians to address patients’ symptoms. The team is also teaching clinicians how to address the need for information, communication, and coping among patients and caregivers.
The research team is enrolling 1,150 patients and their caregivers. Patients are receiving the type of palliative care assigned to their hospital. The team is surveying patients and caregivers at the start of the study and again 12 and 24 weeks later. Patients are answering questions about quality of life; symptoms of anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD; and communication with clinicians. Caregivers are answering questions about quality of life, caregiver burden, and symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Patients with AML, caregivers, cancer clinicians, palliative care clinicians, hospital administrators, and policy makers are giving input on the study.
Research methods at a glance
|Design||Randomized controlled trial|
|Population||1,150 adults with high-risk AML receiving intensive chemotherapy and their caregivers|
Primary: quality of life
Secondary: depression, anxiety, PTSD, end-of-life communication, and end-of-life care; caregiver burden, depression, anxiety, and quality of life
|Timeframe||12-week follow-up for primary outcome|