White, V.M., Macvean, M.L., Grogan, S., D'Este, C., Akkerman, D., Ieropoli, S., . . . Sanson-Fisher, R. (2012). Can a tailored telephone intervention delivered by volunteers reduce the supportive care needs, anxiety and depression of people with colorectal cancer? A randomised controlled trial. Psycho-Oncology, 21, 1053–1062.doi: 10.1002/pon.2019
To assess the effectiveness of a volunteer-delivered, tailored telephone-based intervention in reducing unmet supportive care needs and elevated levels of anxiety and depression among people with colorectal cancer
The intervention utilized a checklist of unmet needs that patients with colorectal cancer completed. Specially trained volunteers then followed up with patients, by means of telephone consultation, to review needs and devise an action plan.
Transition phase of care
Randomized controlled trial
This study suggests that a volunteer-delivered, telephone-based intervention is plausible and acceptable to patients with cancer and that the intervention was effective in getting patients to use available services. This approach was associated with reduced anxiety over time, but did not have an impact on depression or prevalence of unmet needs as identified by the patients.
Tailoring support and interventions to only those patients with unmet needs might be a better allocation of resources while producing significant results.