Results were presented in part of a PhD thesis: Ray of light. Evaluating the feasibility and effectiveness of routine psychosocial screening in cancer patients receiving radiotherapy. June 2012.
Psychosocial screening effects on health-related outcomes in patients receiving radiotherapy. A cluster randomised controlled trial†
Article first published online: 3 JUL 2013
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume 22, Issue 12, pages 2736–2746, December 2013
How to Cite
Braeken, A. P. B. M., Kempen, G. I. J. M., Eekers, D. B. P., Houben, R. M. A., van Gils, F. C. J. M., Ambergen, T. and Lechner, L. (2013), Psychosocial screening effects on health-related outcomes in patients receiving radiotherapy. A cluster randomised controlled trial. Psycho-Oncology, 22: 2736–2746. doi: 10.1002/pon.3340
- Issue published online: 6 DEC 2013
- Article first published online: 3 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 27 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 23 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Received: 10 DEC 2012
- Dutch Cancer Society
- quality of life;
- psychological distress;
This study examined the short-term and long-term effects of using a screening instrument on psychological distress and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among cancer patients receiving radiotherapy. In addition, we investigated the effect of early psychosocial treatment on patients' overall health-related outcomes as previous research showed that patients in the screening condition were referred to a psychosocial caregiver at an earlier stage.
A cluster randomised controlled trial with a randomisation at the levels of 14 radiotherapists, 568 patients was conducted. Patients were asked to complete questionnaires at 3 and 12 months follow-up.
Mixed models analyses showed no significant intervention effects on patients' overall extent of psychosocial distress and HRQoL, both on the short and long terms. Post-hoc analyses revealed significant interactions of the intervention with early referral and improved HRQoL and anxiety, suggesting that earlier referral might influence short-term HRQoL and experienced anxiety in patients.
Our results suggest that the use of a psychosocial screening instrument among patients receiving radiotherapy in itself does not sufficiently improve patients' health-related outcome. The effective delivery of psychosocial care depends upon several components such as identification of distress and successful implementation of screening procedures. One of the challenges is to get insight in the effects of early referral of cancer patients for psychosocial support because early referral might have a favourable effect on some of the patients' health-related outcomes. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.