This research study is evaluating ways to provide palliative care to patients who have recently been diagnosed with lung cancer and their families.
Comparative Effectiveness of Early Integrated Telehealth Versus In-Person Palliative Care for Patients With Advanced Lung Cancer
Patients with serious cancers, like advanced lung cancer, often experience physical symptoms, such as pain or shortness of breath. In addition, both patients and their loved ones (family and friends) often feel worried or sad about the cancer diagnosis.
Research has shown that early involvement of a team of clinicians that specialize in lessening (or "palliating") many of these distressing physical and emotional symptoms and in helping patients and their families cope with a serious illness improves patients' and their loved ones' experience with their cancer. This team is called "palliative care," and consists of physicians and advanced practice nurses (or "nurse practitioners") who work closely and collaboratively with the oncology team to care for the participant and the participant's loved ones. Research shows that when the palliative care team works closely with the oncology team to care for patients with advanced cancer, they have better symptom control, quality of life, and mood, and their loved ones feel less distressed. the investigators call this model of care, "early integrated palliative care."
While the investigators know that having palliative care clinicians work closely with the oncology team is helpful for patients and their loved ones, many patients do not have access to these specialists because hospitals and cancer clinics lack enough staff and because some patients and family members live in distant regions that make attending clinic visits difficult and expensive. One way to overcome these barriers is to have patients meet with palliative care clinicians using secure video-conferencing technology.
The purpose of this study is to determine if meeting with a palliative care clinician through video-conferencing is just as beneficial for patients and their families as meeting with a palliative care clinician in person. Specifically, this study will compare these two different strategies for meeting with the palliative care clinician. The first strategy is to schedule the participant to meet with the palliative care clinician regularly each month in person at the clinic. The investigators call this strategy "In-person palliative care."
The second strategy is to schedule the participant to meet with the palliative care clinician regularly each month using secure video-conferencing, such as through a smart phone or tablet computer. If the participant do not have this form of technology, the investigators will provide it for the participant. The investigators call this strategy "telehealth palliative care." The primary goals of this study are to learn if telehealth palliative care is just as effective as in-person palliative care for improving quality of life, mood symptoms, and satisfaction with care for patients with advanced lung cancer and their families.