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J Clin Oncol. 2001 Nov 1;19(21):4117-25.

Randomized trial of coordinated psychosocial interventions based on patient self-assessments versus standard care to improve the psychosocial functioning of patients with cancer.

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Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute, Melbourne, Australia.



To determine whether making patient-reported cancer needs, quality-of-life (QOL), and psychosocial information available to the health care team, allowing coordinated specifically targeted psychosocial interventions, resulted in reduced cancer needs, improved QOL, and increased satisfaction with care received.


Self-reported cancer needs, QOL, and psychosocial information was collected from 450 people with cancer, using standardized questionnaires via a touch-screen computer. For a randomly chosen two thirds, this information was made available to the health care team who coordinated targeted psychosocial interventions. Information from the remaining one third was not seen. Patients were assessed 2 and 6 months after randomization for changes in their cancer needs, QOL, and psychosocial functioning and satisfaction with overall care received.


There were no significant differences between the two arms with respect to changes in cancer needs, QOL, or psychosocial functioning between the baseline and follow-up assessments, nor with respect to satisfaction with care. However, for the subgroup of patients who were moderately or severely depressed at baseline, there was a significant reduction in depression for the intervention arm relative to the control arm at the 6-month assessment (P =.001).


Making patient-reported cancer needs, QOL, and psychosocial data available to the health care team at a single consultation together with coordinated psychosocial interventions does not seem to reduce cancer needs nor improve QOL, psychosocial functioning, or satisfaction with the care received. However, identification of patients with moderate or severe levels of depression may be valuable in reducing subsequent levels of depression.

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