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Transforming Healthcare Transforming Lives:
Creating the Nursing Leaders of Tomorrow and the Research that Improves Health

Patient Outcomes of a Self-Care Management Approach to Cancer Symptoms: A Clinical Trial

PCORI
8/1/13-7/31/16

Cumulative Award:
$1,979,820

Susan McMillan

Abstract

Regardless of their treatment, cancer patients endure a variety of difficult symptoms during their disease with averages ranging from 7 to 14 symptoms each. Cancer-related symptoms, especially when symptoms are very intense, distressing, frequent, or interfere with daily activities, can lead to depression, anxiety, and diminished quality of life. Improving their ability to self-manage difficult symptoms has the potential to diminish suffering, improve quality of life and decrease emergency room visits and associated costs. We propose to test a brief, effective intervention with outpatients in a cancer center, with the goal of teaching patients symptom management skills for self-identified symptoms of highest priority to patients.

Public Health Relevance

Our problem-solving intervention is likely to be very potent in improving quality of life because it addresses these important factors-- patient symptoms, self-efficacy, appraisals of symptoms, and perceived barriers --in a comprehensive package.