This randomized clinical trial will take what we learned from the Engagement of Patients with Advanced Cancer study and integrate it into a large cancer institute with a palliative care team. The coach will assist patients with advanced stages of cancer with discussing their goals of care and symptoms with their oncology and palliative care teams.
We will enroll all patientswith newly diagnosed stage III or IV cancer, except non-melanoma skin cancer and non-metastatic thyroid cancer. Additionally, we will include patients with recurrent disease (meaning disease that has been treated with an initial course of therapy but may not have returned or cancers that did not get better after treatment).
Patients are randomized into an intervention group or a usual oncology group. The intervention group will receive care from a coach who will reach out to them every two weeks to every month to discuss their goals of care and symptoms. We will collect data every 3 months until 12 months after patients enroll.
The study is ongoing but preliminary results show improvements in goals of care documentation, reductions in symptom burden, and reductions in emergency department and hospital use.
U.S. National Library of Medicine
Health care coach support may help cancer patients to make decisions about their care that matches what is important to them with symptom management.
Journal of Clinical Oncology
Lay health workers (LHWs) who are trained to proactively discuss goals of care and assess patient symptoms have improved value-based cancer care among Veterans and a Medicare Advantage population.