Evaluating a nurse-led survivorship care package (SurvivorCare) for bowel cancer survivors: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial
1 Department of Cancer Experiences Research, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, East Melbourne, VIC 3002, Australia
2 Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia
3 Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Services, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia
4 Cancer Institute NSW, PO Box 41, Alexandria, NSW 1435, Australia
5 Department of Nursing, School of Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia
6 Surgical Outcomes Research Centre, University of Sydney and Sydney South West Area Health Service, Missenden Rd, PO Box M157, Sydney, NSW 2050, Australia
7 Centre for Medical Psychology and Evidence-based Decision Making (CeMPED), School of Psychology, University of Sydney, A18, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
8 School of Public Health, University of Sydney, A27, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
9 Surgical Outcomes Research Centre (SOuRCe), Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Missenden Road, PO Box M157, Sydney, NSW 2050, Australia
Trials 2013, 14:260 doi:10.1186/1745-6215-14-260Published: 19 August 2013
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the most common cancer affecting both men and women in Australia. The illness and related treatments can cause distressing adverse effects, impact on emotional and psychological well-being, and adversely affect social, occupational and relationship functioning for many years after the end of treatment or, in fact, lifelong. Current models of follow-up fail to address the complex needs arising after treatment completion. Strategies to better prepare and support survivors are urgently required. We previously developed a nurse-led supportive care program (SurvivorCare) and tested it in a pilot study involving 10 CRC survivors. The intervention was found to be highly acceptable, appropriate, relevant and useful.
This study is a multisite, randomised controlled trial, designed to assess the impact of the addition of the SurvivorCare intervention to usual post-treatment care, for people with potentially cured CRC. SurvivorCare comprises the provision of survivorship educational materials, a tailored survivorship care plan, an individually tailored nurse-led, face-to-face end of treatment consultation and three subsequent telephone calls. Eligible patients have completed treatment for potentially cured CRC. Other eligibility criteria include stage I to III disease, age greater than 18 years and adequate understanding of English. All consenting patients complete questionnaires at three time points over a six-month period (baseline, two and six months). Measures assess psychological distress, unmet needs and quality of life.
This supportive care package has the potential to significantly reduce individual suffering, whilst reducing the burden of follow-up on acute cancer services through enhanced engagement with and utilisation of general practitioners and community based services. If the intervention is successful in achieving the expected health benefits, it could be disseminated readily. All training and supporting materials have been developed and standardised. Furthermore, the intervention could easily be adapted to other cancer or chronic disease settings.
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry ACTRN12610000207011.