Project Summary

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 Element Description
Design Randomized controlled trial
Population 1,150 adults with high-risk AML receiving intensive chemotherapy and their caregivers
  • Primary palliative care
  • Secondary palliative care

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 Timeframe Length of follow-up for collecting data on primary outcomes. View Glossary 12-week follow-up for primary outcome

Project Information

Areej El-Jawahri, MD
Jennifer Temel, MD
Massachusetts General Hospital
Specialty Compared to Oncology delivered Palliative Care for Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (SCOPE-Leukemia)

Key Dates

July 2021
July 2028

Study Registration Information


Award Type
Health Conditions Health Conditions These are the broad terms we use to categorize our funded research studies; specific diseases or conditions are included within the appropriate larger category. Note: not all of our funded projects focus on a single disease or condition; some touch on multiple diseases or conditions, research methods, or broader health system interventions. Such projects won’t be listed by a primary disease/condition and so won’t appear if you use this filter tool to find them. View Glossary
Populations Populations PCORI is interested in research that seeks to better understand how different clinical and health system options work for different people. These populations are frequently studied in our portfolio or identified as being of interest by our stakeholders. View Glossary
Intervention Strategy Intervention Strategies PCORI funds comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) studies that compare two or more options or approaches to health care, or that compare different ways of delivering or receiving care. View Glossary
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: March 14, 2024