Living With Colorectal Cancer: Patient and Caregiver Experience

Official Title

Living With Colorectal Cancer: Patient and Caregiver Experience

Summary:

This observational study will gather outcome and experience data of patients living with advanced colorectal cancer and their caregivers. The primary objective is to measure how quality of life in this population changes over time (before, during, and after a palliative pathway becomes the new standard of care in Calgary, Alberta, Canada).

Trial Description

Primary Outcome:

  • Quality of life (EQ-5D-5L scores)
Secondary Outcome:
  • Edmonton Symptom Assessment System-Revised (ESAS-r) symptoms (pain, tiredness, drowsiness, nausea, lack of appetite, depression, anxiety, shortness of breath, and wellbeing)
  • Preparedness for caregiving
  • Degree of engagement in advance care planning conversations
  • Patient-reported concerns (emotional, social/family/spiritual, practical, physical, mobility, nutrition, informational, other)

1. Background and Rationale: Using palliative care early, e.g. concurrent with disease-modifying therapies or from the time of diagnosis of advanced cancer, enhances quality of life for patients and their families and is associated with lower healthcare resource costs at end-of-life. Despite the evidence that early use of palliative care benefits patients and the healthcare system, most patients are referred late in their disease (e.g. <2 months from death). Our health services struggle to systematically provide early and integrated palliative care, to meet the needs of the cancer population. In Calgary, Alberta, typical of other Canadian centres, 60% of patients with metastatic gastrointestinal (GI) cancers have a late (< 3 months from end of life) or no palliative care referral (i.e. no contact with any palliative care service/provider). This lack of timely and early palliative care is associated with aggressive cancer care in 50% of patients, as compared to 25% in those who received earlier palliative care.

A Knowledge to Action (KTA) initiative called Palliative Care Early and Systematic (PaCES) has identified gaps in providing early and systematic palliative care to advanced colorectal cancer (aCRC) patients. To address these gaps, a comprehensive care pathway delivering early, systematic palliative care to aCRC patients in Alberta, Canada will be developed as a new standard of care. The pathway will be implemented first in Calgary, Alberta, with Edmonton, Alberta as control site, to allow for testing and refinement before dissemination to Edmonton and across Alberta. As a result of the development of this new care pathway, over the next 3 years changes are anticipated in the delivery of care for aCRC patients.

2. Research question and objectives: This observational study will gather outcome and experience data of patients living with advanced colorectal cancer and their caregivers. The primary objective is to measure how quality of life in this population changes over time (before, during, and after a palliative pathway is introduced as the new standard of care in Calgary, Alberta).

3. Methods: An observational cohort study with interrupted time series (ITS) data collection will allow us to assess secular trends, determine if there is evidence of serial dependencies in the monthly measures, and to compare measures following system changes in Calgary while observing the same measures over the same time periods in Edmonton. The primary outcome will be how does EQ5D5L (a standardized instrument for use as a measure of health outcome) change over time for patients and caregivers. Questionnaires will be administered to patients monthly for 10 months then every 3 months until the end of the study or death. Questionnaires for the caregiver will be at enrollment, 1 month, then every 3 months until the end of the study.

View this trial on ClinicalTrials.gov

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Resources

Canadian Cancer Society

These resources are provided in partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society