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Phase 1 oncology trial patients don't ask for palliative care
Phase I oncology trial participants often are excluded from hospice services. However, a recent study shows that although they do suffer the same symptoms of patients undergoing traditional cancer therapy, they are less likely to indicate a need for hospice or palliative care-related services.1
In the study, 297 patients undergoing cancer therapy and 69 patients enrolled in Phase 1 trials were interviewed to assess the patients' perceived need for services provided by hospice. Patients were asked if they needed a chaplain, a counselor, a home health aide, or a visiting nurse. Although the Phase 1 trial patients reported more severe symptoms than patients in the cancer patients, they were less likely to ask for hospice-related services. Only 6% of Phase 1 patients indicated a need for a home health aide, compared to 67% of oncology patients; 10% asked for a chaplain, compared to 45% of oncology patients; and 16% perceived a need for a counselor, compared to 54% of oncology patients. When asked about a visiting nurse, both groups were comparable with 44% of Phase 1 patients and 48% of oncology patients indicating a need.
1. Finlay E, Lu HL, Henderson H, et al. Do Phase 1 patients have greater needs for palliative care compared with other cancer patients? Cancer 2009; 115:446-453.