American University launches Multi-Modal Palliative Care Intervention

Photo by Raul Naera

University of Colorado, Boulder is recruiting patients for the clinical trial of Multi-Modal Palliative Care Intervention.

Adults diagnosed with metastatic cancer commonly experience depression and anxiety symptoms, which can interfere with advance care planning. This clinical trial evaluates a novel, piloted, primary palliative care intervention that addresses advance care planning and psychosocial needs of patients with metastatic cancer. The intervention focuses on patients with elevated anxiety and depression (anx/dep) symptoms-those with highest psychosocial needs who may be at greatest risk for advance care planning non-completion. The intervention is founded on an evidence-based intervention approach known as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) that reduces distress and promotes behavior change through theory-driven mechanisms. In the proposed randomized trial, M-ACT will be compared to a usual care control condition. The study will also assess the association between advance care planning and anx/dep symptoms, thereby informing the critical practice question of whether anx/dep symptoms should be addressed concurrently with advance care planning. The study will enroll patients with Stage IV solid tumor cancer (N=240) within Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers.

The study aims to:

  • Evaluate the hypothesis that M-ACT will increase advance care planning completion (primary outcome) and sense of life meaning, and reduce anx/dep symptoms and fear of dying relative to usual care control.
  • Assess the association between anx/dep symptoms and advance care planning at baseline and over time, testing the hypothesis that decreases in anx/dep symptoms at post- intervention will be associated with increases in advance care planning at follow-up.
  • Assess M-ACT's hypothesized mechanisms to specify how the intervention works (exploratory aim). Given their advance care planning and psychosocial needs, and poor access to palliative care, rigorously investigating M-ACT has the potential to benefit community patients with metastatic cancer and to advance palliative care science by addressing gaps in novel approaches, foundational knowledge, and the scalable delivery of palliative care.

The researchers plan that January 11, 2021 will be the study start date. The indicative completion of the clinical trial will be expected in January 31, 2025.

The study will take place at the Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers, Boulder, Colorado, United States.

The page dedicated to this clinical trial can be found here:

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