Does a regular nurse-led distress screening and discussion improve quality of life of breast cancer patients treated with curative intent? A randomized controlled trial
SourcePsycho-Oncology, 29, 4, (2020), pp. 719-728
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectRadboudumc 0: Other Research RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 10: Reconstructive and regenerative medicine RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 17: Women's cancers RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 9: Rare cancers RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
OBJECTIVE: We performed a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to investigate whether regular screening with the distress thermometer (DT) by a nurse improved global quality of life (QOL) of patients with breast cancer (BC) treated with curative intent. METHODS: BC patients were randomized between regular screening for distress with a nurse-led DT intervention (NDTI) and usual care (UC). Both groups filled out questionnaires at baseline, after each received treatment modality and at follow-up visits up to 2 years. At these points, the intervention group received also the NDTI. The primary outcome was the global QOL of the EORTC QLQ C30 at 2 years after the end of treatment. Analyses were done on an intention-to-treat basis, using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), generalized least squares, and interaction analyses. RESULTS: Of 194 randomized patients, 153 filled out the questionnaires up to 2 years after treatment. There was no significant difference between NDTI and UC in global QOL 2 years after the end of treatment (mean diff. = -1∙273, P = .610; 95% CI [-6.195; 3.649]). Subgroup analysis of patients who received multimodality treatment (surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy, n = 66) showed a significant between-group difference in global QOL over time (mean diff. = -10, P < .001; 95% CI [-14.835; -5.167]) together with other secondary outcome measures in favor of the NDTI. CONCLUSION: NDTI did not lead to a significant improvement in global QOL 2 years after the end of treatment for patients with BC. However, the findings indicate that BC patients who received multimodality treatment may benefit from NDTI.
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