Palliative Care and Phase 1 Trials: Intervention to Improve Quality of Life and Provide Education

Betty R. Ferrell, RN, PhD, MA, FAAN, FPCN, CHPN®; Vincent Chung, MD; Marianna Koczywas, MD; Anna Cathy Williams, RN, MSN Ed., PHN; Denise Gallagher, RN, BSN; Patricia Fischer, BSN, MBA; Thomas J. Smith, MD
CJON
10.1188/17.CJON.473-479

Description

Background: Patients in phase 1 clinical trials often have significant symptom burdens and quality-of-life concerns that increase as they progress along the cancer trajectory and experience drug toxicities from the clinical trial. 


Objectives: The interdisciplinary intervention described is aimed at providing optimum palliative care to support patients with solid tumors participating in a phase 1 clinical trial.


Methods: The intervention includes a baseline evaluation using quantitative surveys, a comprehensive palliative care assessment by a research nurse based on patient baseline evaluation, and a goals-of-care discussion by the treating oncologist. The second component includes an interdisciplinary meeting where palliative care recommendations are made, followed by two patient education sessions.


Findings: The initial experience with the palliative care intervention suggests a need for support for this population, as well as potential benefits from integrating palliative care for patients enrolled in phase 1 clinical trials.

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