Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in the United States, accounting for 55% of all new cancer cases. It is the second leading cause of all new cancer cases but the first leading cause of death across genders. In cases where curative intent is not an option, and advanced stages at presentation is common, palliative care becomes an important aspect of care for lung cancer patients. An interdisciplinary palliative care model can effectively link lung cancer patients to the appropriate supportive care services in a timely fashion. Family caregivers (FCG) are also centrally involved in the care of lung cancer patients, assuming primary responsibility for supporting patients across the trajectory of disease. The purpose of this study is to test the dissemination of a Palliative Care Intervention (PCI) for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and their primary FCG. The PCI was developed and tested in a Program Project (P01) conducted at the City of Hope in approximately 400 lung cancer patients and 350 FCGs. The dissemination plan will be guided by the RE-AIM model.
Our specific aims i nclude the adaptation of the intervention from the P01 into three Palliative Care Research Cooperative Group (PCRC) sites, and testing the impact of the intervention on patient and FCG outcomes. We hypothesize that the PCI intervention will improve QOL, symptoms, and distress for patients, and improve burden, distress, and QOL for FCGs. The PCI Intervention consists of several components, and includes a comprehensive QOL assessment of patient and FCG needs, development of palliative care plan with an interdisciplinary team, and patient and FCG teaching sessions. This application has been developed in collaboration with the PCRC, with data management and analysis to be conducted at the PCRC Data and Statistics Center. It addresses the three broad areas identified by the NINR in the RFA including: 1) Bio behavioral research;2) The impact of transitions along the palliative care spectrum;and 3) Caregiving issues.
Palliative care provides better symptom control and supports psychosocial well-being for cancer patients with advanced malignancies. Patients with lung cancer may benefit from interdisciplinary palliative care that supports symptom relief and psychosocial support while concurrently receiving disease-directed therapies. Palliative care could also benefit the patient and cancer science if such care can result in patients living longer with better symptom management.