Improving outcomes for people with progressive cancer: Interrupted time series trial of a needs assessment intervention

Amy Waller, Afaf Girgis, Claire Johnson, Christophe Lecathelinais, David Sibbritt, Dion Forstner, Winston S Liauw, David C Currow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Context: Improving the effectiveness of cancer care delivery has become a major focus of research. Objectives: This study assessed the uptake and impact of the Palliative Care Needs Assessment Guidelines and Needs Assessment Tool: Progressive Disease - Cancer (NAT: PD-C) on the outcomes of people with advanced cancer. Methods: Given widely varying survival in people with advanced cancer, an interrupted time series design was used, with data on unmet needs, depression, anxiety, and quality of life collected from 195 patients using telephone interviews every two months, for up to 18 months. Patients completed at least two baseline interviews before health professionals were academically detailed in the use of the Palliative Care Needs Assessment Guidelines and NAT: PD-C. Health professionals completed the NAT: PD-C with patients approximately monthly for the remainder of the study. Changes in patients' outcomes were compared prior to and following the introduction of the NAT: PD-C using general estimating equations. Results: Moderate to high needs across all domains were frequently seen in the preintervention phase. The use of the NAT: PD-C was associated with a significant reduction in health system and information and patient care and support needs. Conclusion: These resources have the potential as an efficient and acceptable strategy for supporting needs-based cancer care. Further work is required to determine their unique contribution to improvements in patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)569-581
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • cancer
  • NAT: PD-C
  • Needs assessment
  • patient outcomes

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