Providing general practice needs-based care for carers of people with advanced cancer: a randomised controlled trial

Mitchell, Geoffrey K., Girgis, Afaf, Jiwa, Moyez, Sibbritt, David, Burridge, Letitia H. and Senior, Hugh E. (2013) Providing general practice needs-based care for carers of people with advanced cancer: a randomised controlled trial. British Journal of General Practice, 63 615: e683-e690. doi:10.3399/bjgp13X673694

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Author Mitchell, Geoffrey K.
Girgis, Afaf
Jiwa, Moyez
Sibbritt, David
Burridge, Letitia H.
Senior, Hugh E.
Title Providing general practice needs-based care for carers of people with advanced cancer: a randomised controlled trial
Journal name British Journal of General Practice   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0960-1643
Publication date 2013-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3399/bjgp13X673694
Open Access Status
Volume 63
Issue 615
Start page e683
End page e690
Total pages 8
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Royal College of General Practitioners
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background Carers of patients with advanced cancer often have health and psychosocial needs, which are frequently overlooked.

Aim To meet the needs of carers through a GP consultation directed by a self-completed carer needs checklist.

Design and setting Randomised controlled trial in general practice with recruitment through specialist oncology clinics, in Brisbane, Australia.

Method Intervention was (a) carer–GP consultations directed by a self-completed checklist of needs at baseline and 3 months; and (b) a GP-Toolkit to assist GPs to address carer-identified needs. Control group received usual care. Outcome measures were intensity of needs, anxiety and depression, and quality of life.

Results Total recruitment 392. Overall, no significant differences were detected in the number or intensity of need between groups. Compared to controls, intervention participants with baseline clinical anxiety showed improvements in mental wellbeing (P = 0.027), and those with baseline clinical depression had slower development of anxiety (P = 0.044) at 6 months. For those not anxious, physical wellbeing improved at 1 month (P = 0.040). Carers looking after patients with poor functional status had more physical needs (P = 0.037) at 1 month and more psychological and emotional needs at 3 months (P = 0.034). Those caring for less unwell patients showed improved mental wellbeing at 3 months (P = 0.022).

Conclusion The intervention did not influence the number or intensity of needs reported by carers of people with advanced cancer. There was limited impact in people with pre-existing clinical anxiety and depression. For the carer of those most severely affected by advanced cancer, it drew attention to the needs arising from the caregiving role.
Keyword Cancer
General practice
Palliative care
Randomised controlled trial
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Not yet available:

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 2 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 09 Oct 2013, 14:01:42 EST by Shani Lamb on behalf of Discipline of General Practice