Phase 2 pilot study of Pathfinders: a psychosocial intervention for cancer patients.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

PURPOSE: Pathfinders is a multi-faceted psychosocial care program for cancer patients; it was developed in community oncology and adapted to the academic oncology setting. This prospective, single-arm, phase 2 pilot study examined the acceptability and feasibility of Pathfinders for women with metastatic breast cancer. METHODS: Over 3 months, participants completed patient-reported surveys including the Patient Care Monitor (PCM, review of systems), Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Breast Cancer (FACT-B), Self Efficacy, and a single-item survey asking patients whether the program was helpful to them. A technology-based data collection system was used to capture electronic patient-reported outcomes at point of care, report symptoms in real time to clinicians, and collect warehouse data to provide a detailed longitudinal picture of the patient experience when receiving Pathfinders. RESULTS: Participants (n = 50) were: mean age 51 (SD 11); 76% white, 20% black; 74% married; 50% college degree. Forty-two (n = 42) patients completed baseline and 3-month assessments. Statistically significant improvements (all P < 0.05) occurred in PCM subscales for Distress (mean [SE] = -3.42 [1.21]), Despair (-4.53 [1.56]), and Quality of Life (2.88 [0.97]), and the FACT-B Emotional Wellbeing subscale (2.07 [0.46]). Of the 29 participants asked if Pathfinders was helpful, 27 (93%) responded positively and two did not respond. Other instruments measuring symptoms, quality of life, and self-efficacy showed improvement. CONCLUSIONS: In a phase 2 pilot study, Pathfinders was helpful to patients and is feasible in an academic medical center. Follow-up data collected at the 3-month assessment suggest that the program impacts various psychological outcomes, notably distress and despair.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Abernethy, AP; Herndon, JE; Coan, A; Staley, T; Wheeler, JL; Rowe, K; Smith, SK; Shaw, H; Lyerly, HK

Published Date

  • July 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 18 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 893 - 898

PubMed ID

  • 20143102

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3160827

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1433-7339

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s00520-010-0823-z


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Germany