TUESDAY, July 13 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer patients' ability to
cope with pain and depression was improved through a program that
included home-based automated symptom monitoring and
telephone-based care management, a new study has found.
The study, called the Indiana Cancer Pain and Depression
(INCPAD) trial, included patients in 16 community-based urban and
rural cancer practices -- 202 patients were assigned to the
intervention program and 203 received usual care. Of the 405
patients, 131 had depression only, 96 had pain only, and 178 had
both depression and pain.
The patients in the intervention group received automated
home-based symptom monitoring by interactive voice recording or
Internet, and centralized telecare management by a nurse-physician
specialist team. The patients were assessed for signs of depression
and pain symptoms at the start of the study, and then again at one,
three, six and 12 months.
After 12 months, the 137 patients with pain in the intervention
group showed greater improvement in pain symptoms than the 137
patients with pain in the usual-care group. The 154 patients with
depression in the intervention group had significantly greater
improvement in depression severity than the 155 patients with
depression in the usual-care group, according to the report
published in the July 14 issue of the
Journal of the American Medical Association.
There were a number of important findings from the INCPAD trial,
said Dr. Kurt Kroenke, of the Richard Roudebush VA Medical Center,
Indiana University, and Regenstrief Institute in Indianapolis, and
"First, the telecare management intervention resulted in significant improvements in both pain and depression. Second, the trial demonstrated that it is feasible to provide telephone-based centralized symptom management across multiple geographically dispersed community-based practices in both urban and rural areas by coupling human with technology-augmented patient interactions. Third, the findings did not appear to be confounded by differential rates of co-interventions or health care use," the study authors wrote in their report.
"The fact that INCPAD was beneficial for the most common physical and psychological symptoms in cancer patients demonstrates that a collaborative care intervention can cover several conditions, both physical and psychological," the researchers concluded.
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about
cancer and depression.