Phase I cancer trials: a qualitative study of specialist palliative care
Krebs, Matthew G
AffiliationChristie Patient Centred Research (CPCR), The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester
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AbstractOBJECTIVE: In recent years, a simultaneous care model for advanced cancer patients has been recommended meaning that palliative care services are offered throughout their cancer journey. To inform the successful adoption of this model in a phase I trial context, the study aimed to explore patients' care needs and their perceptions of specialist palliative care. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 advanced cancer patients referred to the Experimental Cancer Medicine team. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed with a framework approach to data organisation. RESULTS: Despite reporting considerable physical and psychological impacts from cancer and cancer treatment, participants did not recognise a need for specialist palliative care support. Understanding of the role of specialist palliative care was largely limited to end of life care. There was perceived conflict between considering a phase I trial and receiving specialist palliative care. Participants felt specialist palliative care should be introduced earlier and educational resources developed to increase patient acceptability of palliative care services. SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: Patients with advanced cancer referred for phase I trials are likely to benefit from specialist palliative care. However, this study suggests patients may not recognise a need for support nor accept this support due to misperceptions about the role of palliative care. Developing a specific educational resource about specialist palliative care for this population would help overcome barriers to engaging with a simultaneous care model.
CitationBellhouse S, Galvin L, Turner L, Taylor S, Davies M, Krebs M, et al. Phase I cancer trials: a qualitative study of specialist palliative care. BMJ Support Palliat Care. 2019.
JournalBMJ supportive & palliative care