Navigation Links
Decades of research: Effectiveness of phone counseling for cancer patients still unknown

Increasingly, cancer care respects the fact that a patient's body is only part of the system that requires treatment. Over a third of cancer patients experience psychosocial distress – the mental health consequences of their conditions. And, increasingly, care providers are exploring phone- and internet-based interventions to help cancer patients navigate mental health challenges. A University of Colorado Cancer Center study recently published in the journal Psycho-Oncology asks an important question: after decades of use and study, can we definitely show that remote interventions improve psychosocial outcomes in cancer survivors, or might there be a required, in-person component of these interventions?

"The answer is that we really don't know yet," says Sonia Okuyama, MD, investigator at the CU Cancer Center and the paper's first author.

The small sample sizes of most studies, focus on non-Hispanic white patients (predominantly in breast cancer), varied design of the phone interventions offered, and lack of consistency in adhering to reporting guidelines means that despite a high number of published studies, few definitive findings are possible. In this study, a systematic database search for articles describing telephone interventions for adult cancer patients returned only 20 randomized controlled trials. Eight of these 20 studies showed significant improvement, but "these were typically not robust across multiple end points within the same study nor were these effects robust across studies that shared the same or similar end points," the paper writes.

"From this data, we simply can't tell whether these interventions work and in what situations they are most likely to be effective," Okuyama says.

One commonality in studies that reported positive results was the use of trained counselors to deliver phone interventions.

"Often it's nurses or peers who end up on the phone delivering the care," Okuyama says, "but it seems important to make sure the person delivering the intervention has specific training. Counseling cancer patients seems to be a highly specialized skill."

In the researchers' opinion, this paper highlights the urgent need for a well-designed large multi-center trial to definitively answer the question whether phone interventions can improve the psychosocial functioning of cancer survivors.

"We've spent significant time and funding dollars doing small studies without rigorous control," Okuyama says. "It's time we did this the right way, once, so that we could discover the effectiveness or lack of effectiveness of these interventions once and for all moving forward."


Contact: Garth Sundem
University of Colorado Denver

Related medicine news :

1. Lung Cancer May Lie Dormant for 2 Decades
2. Study finds drop in death rates from strokes over last 2 decades
3. Teen Birth Rate Has Dropped Dramatically in Last Two Decades: CDC
4. Pancreatic survival rates at standstill for 4 decades
5. Birthweight and breastfeeding have implications for childrens health decades later
6. Weekly emails to hospital C-suite halt 2 decades of superbug outbreak
7. Pre-diabetes and diabetes nearly double over the past 2 decades
8. PCBs still affecting our health decades later
9. NIH study shows big improvement in diabetes control over past decades
10. Todays U.S. Soldiers Fitter Than Decades Ago: Report
11. Microbial Threats to Health: IOM Symposium Explores 2 Decades of Progress
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Decades of research: Effectiveness of phone counseling for cancer patients still unknown
(Date:9/11/2019)... ... , ... Women’s Excellence is excited to announce the opening of their new ... 103, Royal Oak, MI 48073 in the heart of Royal Oak off Woodward Avenue ... in a contemporary, spa-like atmosphere. We are thrilled to be in a great, ...
(Date:9/11/2019)... ... September 10, 2019 , ... Episcopal Relief & ... vulnerable communities impacted by Hurricane Dorian. , In partnership with the Episcopal ... of Georgia, and the Episcopal Farmworker Ministry, Episcopal Relief & Development is giving ...
(Date:9/9/2019)... ... 09, 2019 , ... Sharon, the respected Practice Administrator of ... Dental Office Management (AADOM) Annual Conference. This year, esteemed dentist, Dr. Patrick Cieplak, ... Sharon’s third nomination in a row. The entire team at Cieplak Dental Excellence ...
(Date:9/9/2019)... YORK (PRWEB) , ... September ... ... of NYC ( ) located on the Upper East Side in ... to their busy orthodontic practice. The pediatric orthodontic division specializes in the ...
(Date:9/8/2019)... WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... September 06, 2019 , ... ... procedure are tremendously positive! The high success rate for this non-invasive and pain free ... looking to lose the unwanted fat in problem areas. , Contoura uses state of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/12/2019)... ... September 12, 2019 , ... ... help make the services of CPESN’s clinically integrated network of more than 2,400 ... CPESN USA’s participating pharmacies provide high quality clinical service programs that will now ...
(Date:9/11/2019)... ... September 11, 2019 , ... Pressley Ridge will host a ribbon cutting ceremony ... on September 20 at 1 p.m. on their Marshall Avenue campus on the North ... this is the first time they have a permanent—and state-of-the-art—home. Designed from the ground ...
(Date:9/11/2019)... ... September 11, 2019 , ... Bloodstream ... in the US. However, patients may not receive the most targeted therapy in ... Rapid molecular detection of these pathogens has shown improvement in patient outcomes, but ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: