Analysis of Data on Early Ambulatory Palliative Care for Patients with Lung Cancer



Jaclyn Yoong, M.B.B.S., F.R.A.C.P., of the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, and colleagues conducted a qualitative analysis of data from a randomized controlled trial of early ambulatory palliative care (PC)  for patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer with standard oncologic care vs. standard oncologic care alone.

The study involved 20 randomly selected patients who received early PC and survived within four periods of time: less than three months (n=5), three to six months (n=5), six to 12 months (n=5) and 12 to 24 months (n=5). The authors sought to identify the content and key elements of PC, explore the variation in these key elements over time and compare the content of PC and oncologic care at critical clinical points.

“Early PC clinic visits emphasize managing symptoms, strengthening coping, and cultivating illness understanding and prognostic awareness in a responsive and time-sensitive model. During critical clinical time points, PC and oncologic care visits have distinct features that suggest a key role for PC involvement and enable oncologists to focus on cancer treatment and managing medical complications,” the study concludes. (Online First)

(JAMA Intern Med. Published online January 28, 2013. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.1874.