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Keywords:

  • colorectal cancer;
  • randomized controlled trial;
  • intervention studies;
  • social support;
  • home visits;
  • Denmark;
  • anxiety;
  • depression;
  • quality of life;
  • psychosocial factors

Abstract

Home visits by health care professionals may constitute a formalized social relationship in which cancer patients can be given emotional and informational support. We aimed at studying the effect of home visits on the well-being of colorectal cancer patients. A total of 249 Danish colorectal cancer patients undergoing abdominal surgery were randomly assigned to a control group or to an intervention group. The intervention group received 10 home visits carried out by a project nurse or a medical doctor during the first 2 years after discharge. Participants were interviewed 3, 6, 12, and 24 months after discharge in order to assess well-being. Using a linear mixed model, we found no overall effect of the intervention on well-being. We recommend that future psychosocial intervention studies include baseline screening for distress and recommend testing the effect of shorter but intensive interventions carried out by trained therapists. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.