INTRODUCTION: Patients with multimorbidity plus additional impairments (eg, mobility limitations, disability, cognitive impairments or frailty) are at the highest risk for poor healthcare outcomes. Advanced care planning (ACP) provides patients and their surrogates the opportunity to discuss their goals, values and priorities for healthcare-particularly in the context of end-of-life care. ACP discussions promote more person-centred care; however, it is currently underused. There is a tremendous need for systematic, scalable approaches to individualised ACP that promotes patient and family engagement. Here we describe the study protocol for a randomised effectiveness trial of a nurse navigator and informatics intervention designed to improve the documentation and quality of ACP discussions.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This is a randomised, pragmatic, effectiveness trial; patients aged 65 years and older who have multimorbidity plus impairments in either physical function (eg, mobility limitations or disability) or cognition, and/or frailty within an affiliated Accountable Care Organization were eligible. The electronic health record was used to develop an automatic prescreening system for eligible patients (n=765) and participants were randomised in a 1:1 ratio to either the nurse navigator-led ACP pathway or usual care. Our primary outcomes are documentation of ACP discussions within the EHR along with the quality of ACP discussions. Secondary outcomes include a broad range of ACP actions (eg, usage of ACP billing codes, choosing a surrogate decision-maker and advance directive documentation). Outcomes will be measured over 12 months of follow-up.
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study has been approved by the appropriate Institutional Review Boards and is guided by input from patient and clinical advisory boards. The results of this study will inform a scalable solution to ACP discussions throughout our healthcare system and statewide.
Introduction: Early palliative care (PC) integrated with oncology care improves quality of life (QOL), depression symptoms, illness understanding, and end-of-life (EOL) care for patients with advanced lung cancer. The aims of this trial are to compare the effect of delivering early integrated PC through telehealth versus in-person on patient and caregiver outcomes. We hypothesize that both modalities for delivering early PC would be equivalent for improving patient QOL, communication about EOL care preferences with their oncologist, and length of stay in hospice.
Methods: For this comparative effectiveness trial, we will enroll and randomize 1250 adult patients with advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC), who are not being treated with curative intent, to receive either early integrated telehealth or in-person PC at 20 cancer centers throughout the United States. Patients may also invite a family caregiver to participate in the study. Patients and their caregivers in both study groups meet at least every four weeks with a PC clinician from within 12 weeks of patient diagnosis of advanced NSCLC until death. Participants complete measures of QOL, mood, and quality of communication with oncologists at baseline before randomization and at 12, 24, 36, and 48 weeks. Information on health care utilization, including length of stay in hospice, will be collected from patients' health records. To test equivalence in outcomes between study groups, we will compute analysis of covariance and mixed linear models, controlling for baseline scores and study site.
Study Implementation and Stakeholder Engagement: To ensure that this comparative effectiveness trial and findings are as patient centered and meaningful as possible, we have incorporated a robust patient and stakeholder engagement plan. Our stakeholder partners include (1) patients/families, (2) PC clinicians, (3) telehealth experts and clinician users, (4) representatives from health care systems and medical insurance providers, and (5) health care policy makers and advocates. These stakeholders will inform and provide feedback about every phase of study implementation.