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The effects of individually tailored nurse navigation for patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer: a randomized pilot study

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AIM: Our aim was to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of an individual, nurse-navigator intervention for relieving distress, anxiety, depression and health-related quality of life in women who have been treated for breast cancer (BC) and are experiencing moderate-to-severe psychological and physical symptoms.

METHODS: Fifty women with newly diagnosed BC who reported distress (score ≥7 on distress thermometer) before surgery were included consecutively in a pilot study and randomized 1:1 to the intervention or the control group. The intervention comprised repeated screening with patient reported outcome measures and nurse navigation. A total of 66 women who were not distressed (score <7) were followed longitudinally as an observational group. Participants filled in four questionnaires, at baseline, after 6 months and 12 months. The primary outcome was psychological distress and the secondary outcomes were anxiety, depression, health-related quality of life and feasibility of the intervention.

RESULTS: Women in the intervention group reported significantly greater satisfaction with treatment and rehabilitation and lower levels of distress (mean 2.7 vs. 5.1, p<.01), anxiety (mean 5.1 vs. 7.8, p = .02) and depression (mean 2.2 vs. 4.4, p = .04) after 12 months compared to the control group. No significant effects were seen on health-related quality of life.

CONCLUSIONS: The study shows promising feasibility of the individually tailored nurse-navigation intervention and while no significant effects were observed after 6 months, we did find statistically significant effects on distress, anxiety and depression 12 months after diagnosis. Our results will assist in developing rehabilitation to the most vulnerable patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa oncologica
Volume56
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1682-1689
Number of pages8
ISSN0284-186X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 51782558