Structured multi-disciplinary psychosocial care for cancer patients and the perceived quality of care from the patient perspective: a cluster-randomized trial
We examined whether multi-disciplinary stepped psychosocial care for cancer patients improves quality of care from the patient perspective.
In a university hospital, wards were randomly allocated to either stepped or standard care. Stepped care comprised screening for distress, consultation between doctor and patient, and the provision of psychosocial services. Quality of care was measured with the Quality of Care from the Patient Perspective questionnaire. The analysis employed mixed-effects multivariate regression, adjusting for age and gender.
Thirteen wards were randomized, and 1012 patients participated (n = 570 in stepped care and n = 442 in standard care). Patients who were highly distressed at baseline had 2.3 times the odds of saying they had had the possibility to converse in private with doctors and/or psychologists/social workers when they were in stepped care compared to standard care, 1.3 times the odds of reporting having experienced shared decision-making, 1.1 times the odds of experiencing their doctors as empathic and personal, and 0.6 times the odds of experiencing the care at the ward to be patient oriented. There was no evidence for an effect of stepped care on perceived quality of care in patients with moderate or low distress.
Stepped care can improve some aspects of perceived quality of care in highly distressed patients.
KeywordsCancer Quality of care Distress Psychosocial care Randomized trial
This study was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Health (#NKP-332-026).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
We declare that we have no conflicts of interest.
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