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While thyroid cancer is generally associated with a favourable prognosis, there is a discrepancy with how important if not traumatic its impact can be on patients. Quality of life (QoL) decreases in the year following a thyroid cancer diagnosis, constituting an optimal period for a preventive intervention. The goal of this study is to evaluate the impact of offering an interdisciplinary team-based care approach for newly diagnosed thyroid cancer patients, including a dedicated nurse who will provide important psychoeducational elements identified in previous focus group studies of thyroid cancer patients, i.e., information on: the physical illness; the emotional impact of being newly diagnosed with thyroid cancer; surgery and its' short- and long-term consequences; radioactive iodine treatments and its associated safety precautions, nutrition and dietary considerations; and how the cancer diagnosis can be an opportunity to make important lifestyle changes and establish new life-priorities.
The investigators will conduct a 2-arm Randomized Controlled Trial comparing an Interdisciplinary Team-Based Care Approach to usual care.
The primary research question will be: Does adding the Interdisciplinary Team-Based Care Approach (ITCA-ThyCa) to usual care (EG) increase levels of overall QoL among newly diagnosed thyroid cancer patients, compared with those receiving usual care (UC), at 9 months post-randomization (i.e., after all of the dedicated-nurse meetings are administered) as judged by scores on the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-General (FACT-G)? Primary hypothesis: The EG will report higher scores of overall QoL on the FACT-G than the UC at 9 months post-randomization.
Secondary research questions: The investigators plan to evaluate ITCA-ThyCa effects on secondary outcomes such as level of: physical health (SF-36 Physical Health subscale), mental health (SF-36 Mental Health subscale), fatigue (Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue; FACIT-F), anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale; HADS), and negative illness perception (Illness Perception Questionnaire - Revised (IPQ-R). The investigators also plan to explore ITCA-ThyCa effects on satisfaction with care (16 questions of the NRC Picker satisfaction survey measuring patient satisfaction with care) and healthcare service use (types of professionals consulted, frequency of visits, and time elapsed between referral and first consultation). Hypotheses: The EG will report a higher level of physical and mental health on the SF-Physical and Mental Health subscales, respectively; and a lower level of fatigue on the FACIT-F, anxiety and depression on the HADS, and negative illness perception on the IPQ-R; compared with the UC at 9 months post-randomization.
All of the abovementioned changes will be present throughout the treatment, namely at 7-10 days and 5 months post-randomization (i.e., immediately after each of the meetings planned with the dedicated nurse).
All of the abovementioned changes will persist at 12 months post-randomization (i.e., corresponding to 6 months after all anti-cancer treatments are completed and 3 months after all dedicated-nurse meetings have been administered).
Feasibility and acceptability (9 first months of the trial):
The investigators plan on testing the feasibility and acceptability of the 2-arm RCT of ITCA-ThyCa during the first 9 months of the trial (once the investigators start recruiting, after the first 3-6 months dedicated to hiring our personnel and developing the manual of our approach). During this phase, the investigators will aim to address the following research questions:
1. Can the investigators recruit a sufficient number of patients (i.e., a minimum of 60 patients over 6 months or 10/month) and retain a sufficient proportion of thyroid cancer patients (i.e., at least 80% at 7-10 days, 5 months or 9 months post-randomization) in both trial arms?
2. Is ITCA-ThyCa acceptable to at least 80% of EG thyroid cancer patients? Secondary pilot study questions
3. Which evaluation time should be primary post-randomization, based on an acceptable retention rate of 80%?
4. What variance estimates can be used to inform calculation of sample size for the full study?
If the design remains the same following this pilot, the investigators aim to roll in the pilot data in the full trial.
Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Supportive Care
Interdisciplinary Team-Based Approach, Usual Care Control
Jewish General Hospital
Jewish General Hospital
Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-10-16T19:33:17-0400
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