Information interventions for orienting patients and their carers to cancer care facilities

Chan, Raymond J., Webster, Joan and Marquart, Louise (2011) Information interventions for orienting patients and their carers to cancer care facilities. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 12: CD008273.1-CD008273.42. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD008273.pub2

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Author Chan, Raymond J.
Webster, Joan
Marquart, Louise
Title Information interventions for orienting patients and their carers to cancer care facilities
Journal name Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1469-493X
Publication date 2011-12
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1002/14651858.CD008273.pub2
Issue 12
Start page CD008273.1
End page CD008273.42
Total pages 42
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: Cancer patients experience distress and anxiety related to their diagnosis, treatment and the unfamiliar cancer centre. Strategies with the aim of orienting patients to a cancer care facility may improve patient outcomes. Although meeting patients' information needs at different stages is important, there is little agreement about the type of information and the timing for information to be given. Orientation interventions aim to address information needs at the start of a person's experience with a cancer care facility. The extent of any benefit of these interventions is unknown.
Objectives: To assess the effects of information interventions which orient patients and their carers/family to a cancer care facility, and to the services available in the facility.
Search methods: We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2011, Issue 2); MEDLINE (OvidSP) (1966 to Jun 2011), EMBASE (Ovid SP) (1966 to Jun 2011), CINAHL (EBSCO) (1982 to Jun 2011), PsycINFO (OvidSP) (1966 to Jun 2011), review articles and reference lists of relevant articles. We contacted principal investigators and experts in the field.
Selection criteria: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs), cluster RCTs and quasi-RCTs evaluating the effects of information interventions that orient patients and their carers/family to a cancer care facility.
Data collection and analysis: Results of searches were reviewed against the pre-determined criteria for inclusion by two review authors. The primary outcomes were knowledge and understanding; health status and wellbeing, evaluation of care, and harms. Secondary outcomes were communication, skills acquisition, behavioural outcomes, service delivery, and health professional outcomes. We pooled results of RCTs using mean differences (MD) and 95% confidence intervals (CI).
Main results: We included four RCTs involving 610 participants. All four trials aimed to investigate the effects of orientation programs for cancer patients to a cancer facility. There was high risk of bias across studies. Findings from two of the RCTs demonstrated significant benefits of the orientation intervention in relation to levels of distress (mean difference (MD) -8.96 (95% confidence interval (CI) -11.79 to -6.13), but non-significant benefits in relation to state anxiety levels (MD -9.77 (95% CI -24.96 to 5.41). Other outcomes for participants were generally positive (e.g. more knowledgeable about the cancer centre and cancer therapy, better coping abilities). No harms or adverse effects were measured or reported by any of the included studies. There were insufficient data on the other outcomes of interest.
Authors' conclusions: This review has demonstrated the feasibility and some potential benefits of orientation interventions. There was a low level of evidence suggesting that orientation interventions can reduce distress in patients. However, most of the other outcomes remain inconclusive (patient knowledge recall/ satisfaction). The majority of studies were subject to high risk of bias, and were likely to be insufficiently powered. Further well conducted and powered RCTs are required to provide evidence for determining the most appropriate intensity, nature, mode and resources for such interventions. Patient and carer-focused outcomes should be included.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
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Created: Tue, 20 Dec 2011, 14:03:00 EST by Dr Raymond Chan on behalf of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work