for people ages 18 years and up (full criteria)
at San Francisco, California
study started
estimated completion
Principal Investigator
by Stephanie Cheng, MD
Headshot of Stephanie Cheng
Stephanie Cheng



This trial investigates whether a joint and integrative approach to cancer care using palliative care and psycho-oncology is possible, and if it's beneficial to patients with cancer that has spread to other places on the body (advanced). The information gained from this study may help patients to learn about the medicinal and non-medicinal strategies to cope with their symptoms and side effects of their diagnosis and treatment while receiving peer support, in addition to standard individualized medical care.

Official Title

Integrative Palliative Care/Psycho-Oncology Telehealth Group Medical Visits for Patients With Advanced Cancer: A Pilot Study



  1. To develop and refine a joint Integrative Palliative Care/Psycho-oncology telehealth group medical visit (GMV) intervention based on feedback from an open pilot study with patient exit interviews.

II. To determine the feasibility and acceptability of the telehealth GMVs in a separate, single-arm pilot evaluation among patients with advanced cancer.


  1. To estimate the preliminary efficacy of the GMVs among patients with advanced cancer.


  1. To assess the financial viability of the GMVs. II. To measure the utilization of other supportive care services at Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center (HDFCCC) and the Osher Center 3 months post-treatment.

III. To measure the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) healthcare utilization of participants 3 months post treatment.


PHASE I: The group-based intervention is developed, tested, and continuously refined based on participant feedback. Within 14 days of the first weekly group intervention, patients complete baseline questionnaires over 30-45 minutes about their sleep habits, pain management, anxiety/depression, and other symptoms. Patients then participate in a telehealth group medical intervention program over 2 hours weekly for up to 4 sessions where they review topics specific to managing fatigue and sleep habits, managing pain, managing emotional distress, and managing other symptoms and advanced care planning. During the weekly sessions, patients have the opportunity to meet with their symptom management service (SMS) provider in a separate virtual space for individual consultation over 5 minutes to discuss symptoms that they do not feel comfortable sharing in the larger group. The SMS provider may recommend specific interventions or resources for patients to discuss with their oncology, primary care, integrative medicine, psycho-oncology, or palliative care providers as appropriate. Patients also participate in an exit interview over 30 minutes to 1 hour.

PHASE II: Based on the feedback given in the first phase, three new cohorts of participants are recruited to assess the acceptability and feasibility of the refined intervention using similar procedures as in Phase I.

After completion of study, patients are followed up at 7 and 14 days, and then up to 3 months.


Advanced Malignant Solid Neoplasm, Locally Advanced Malignant Solid Neoplasm, Metastatic Malignant Solid Neoplasm, Telehealth, Palliative Care, Neoplasms, Support Group Therapy, Symptom Management Service (SMS) Consultation, Interview, Refined GMV


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18 years and up

  • Carry a diagnosis of an advanced solid tumor cancer (locally advanced or metastatic, i.e., stage III or IV cancer)
  • Be age >= 18 years
  • Be able to speak and read English
  • Be able to navigate websites, fill out forms on the web, communicate by email, and have regular access to the internet (assessed by participant self-report)
  • Be capable of independently utilizing an online platform for telehealth group medical visits in a private setting (assessed by participant self-report)
  • Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status =< 2 (Karnofsky >= 60%)
  • Be able to understand a written informed consent document, and be willing to sign it

You CAN'T join if...

  • Have a cognitive or psychiatric condition prohibiting study consent or participation determined by co-principal investigators (PIs) or referring provider
  • Be too medically unstable (or expected to become so during the study period) to participate in a telehealth group medical visit determined by co-PIs or referring providers
  • Does not have insurance coverage for telehealth group medical visits
  • Have extensive hearing loss such that ability to participate in the study would be impaired as determined by co-PIs or referring provider


  • UCSF accepting new patients
    San Francisco California 94143 United States

Lead Scientist at UCSF

  • Stephanie Cheng, MD
    Dr. Stephanie Cheng is a palliative care specialist who provides supportive care for patients with terminal or life-altering illnesses. She devotes most of her practice to outpatient care in the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center's Symptom Management Service.


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, San Francisco
Study Type
Expecting 32 study participants
Last Updated