Clinical Decision Support for Symptom Management in Lung Cancer Patients: A Group RCT.
CONTEXT: Clinical guidelines are available to enhance symptom management during cancer treatment but often are not used in the practice setting. Clinical decision support can facilitate the implementation and adherence to clinical guidelines. and improve the quality of cancer care. OBJECTIVES: Clinical decision support offers an innovative approach to integrate guideline-based symptom management into oncology care. This study evaluated the effect of clinical decision support-based recommendations on clinical management of symptoms and health-related quality of life (HR-QOL) among outpatients with lung cancer. METHODS: Twenty providers and 179 patients were allotted in group randomization to attention control (AC) or Symptom Assessment and Management Intervention (SAMI) arms. SAMI entailed patient-report of symptoms and delivery of recommendations to manage pain, fatigue, dyspnea, depression, and anxiety; AC entailed symptom reporting prior to the visit. Outcomes were collected at baseline, two, four and six-months. Adherence to recommendations was assessed through masked chart review. HR-QOL was measured by the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Lung questionnaire. Descriptive statistics with linear and logistic regression accounting for the clustering structure of the design and a modified chi-square test were used for analyses. RESULTS: Median age of patients was 63 years, 58% female, 88% white, and 32% ≤high school education. Significant differences in clinical management were evident in SAMI vs. AC for all target symptoms that passed threshold. Patients in SAMI were more likely to receive sustained-release opioids for constant pain, adjuvant medications for neuropathic pain, opioids for dyspnea, stimulants for fatigue and mental health referrals for anxiety. However, there were no statistically significant differences in HR-QOL at any time point. CONCLUSION: SAMI improved clinical management for all target symptoms but did not improve patient outcomes. A larger study is warranted to evaluate effectiveness.
Cooley, ME; Mazzola, E; Xiong, N; Hong, F; Lobach, DF; Braun, IM; Halpenny, B; Rabin, MS; Johns, E; Finn, K; Berry, D; McCorkle, R; Abrahm, JL
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