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Peer support to maintain psychological wellbeing in people with advanced cancer: findings from a feasibility study for a randomised controlled trial

Peer support to maintain psychological wellbeing in people with advanced cancer: findings from a feasibility study for a randomised controlled trial
Peer support to maintain psychological wellbeing in people with advanced cancer: findings from a feasibility study for a randomised controlled trial

Background: Advanced cancer affects people's lives, often causing stress, anxiety and depression. Peer mentor interventions are used to address psychosocial concerns, but their outcomes and effect are not known. Our objective was to determine the feasibility of delivering and investigating a novel peer mentor intervention to promote and maintain psychological wellbeing in people with advanced cancer. Methods: A mixed methods design incorporating a two-armed controlled trial (random allocation ratio 1:1) of a proactive peer mentor intervention plus usual care, vs. usual care alone, and a qualitative process evaluation. Peer mentors were recruited, trained, and matched with people with advanced cancer. Quantitative data assessed quality of life, coping styles, depression, social support and use of healthcare and other supports. Qualitative interviews probed experiences of the study and intervention. Results: Peer mentor training and numbers (n = 12) met feasibility targets. Patient participants (n = 12, from 181 eligible who received an information pack) were not recruited to feasibility targets. Those who entered the study demonstrated that intervention delivery and data collection were feasible. Outcome data must be treated with extreme caution due to small numbers, but indicate that the intervention may have a positive effect on quality of life. Conclusions: Peer mentor interventions are worthy of further study and researchers can learn from these feasibility data in planning participant recruitment and data collection strategies. Pragmatic trials, where the effectiveness of an intervention is tested in real-world routine practice, may be most appropriate. Peer mentor interventions may have merit in enabling survivors with advanced cancer cope with their disease. Trial Registration: The trial was prospectively registered 13.6.2016: ISRCTN10276684.

Cancer, Feasibility study, Palliative care, Peer support
Walshe, Catherine
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Roberts, Diane
69d9278a-f158-4870-903a-970977b40b7c
Calman, Lynn
9ae254eb-74a7-4906-9eb4-62ad99f058c1
Appleton, Lynda
971b9244-aa8e-4d81-9f95-18ed4fe755f5
Croft, Robert
8626ef24-3a9c-421f-bc06-bc8439bb648e
Skevington, Suzanne
4664c3cc-a15c-4af9-8dbb-14e92f3cb4ff
Lloyd-Williams, Mari
80771f88-6f66-4130-a93c-cf5746db30d9
Grande, Gunn
7335911a-ee7f-44cd-924e-c8b3c903fe6c
Perez Algorta, Guillermo
b5df4f02-c868-42b9-8e2e-730c14a9c7b2
Walshe, Catherine
2917881f-9a21-4b0d-9453-b112c0041e35
Roberts, Diane
69d9278a-f158-4870-903a-970977b40b7c
Calman, Lynn
9ae254eb-74a7-4906-9eb4-62ad99f058c1
Appleton, Lynda
971b9244-aa8e-4d81-9f95-18ed4fe755f5
Croft, Robert
8626ef24-3a9c-421f-bc06-bc8439bb648e
Skevington, Suzanne
4664c3cc-a15c-4af9-8dbb-14e92f3cb4ff
Lloyd-Williams, Mari
80771f88-6f66-4130-a93c-cf5746db30d9
Grande, Gunn
7335911a-ee7f-44cd-924e-c8b3c903fe6c
Perez Algorta, Guillermo
b5df4f02-c868-42b9-8e2e-730c14a9c7b2

Walshe, Catherine, Roberts, Diane, Calman, Lynn, Appleton, Lynda, Croft, Robert, Skevington, Suzanne, Lloyd-Williams, Mari, Grande, Gunn and Perez Algorta, Guillermo (2020) Peer support to maintain psychological wellbeing in people with advanced cancer: findings from a feasibility study for a randomised controlled trial. Journal of Palliative Care, 19 (1), [129]. (doi:10.1186/s12904-020-00631-z).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: Advanced cancer affects people's lives, often causing stress, anxiety and depression. Peer mentor interventions are used to address psychosocial concerns, but their outcomes and effect are not known. Our objective was to determine the feasibility of delivering and investigating a novel peer mentor intervention to promote and maintain psychological wellbeing in people with advanced cancer. Methods: A mixed methods design incorporating a two-armed controlled trial (random allocation ratio 1:1) of a proactive peer mentor intervention plus usual care, vs. usual care alone, and a qualitative process evaluation. Peer mentors were recruited, trained, and matched with people with advanced cancer. Quantitative data assessed quality of life, coping styles, depression, social support and use of healthcare and other supports. Qualitative interviews probed experiences of the study and intervention. Results: Peer mentor training and numbers (n = 12) met feasibility targets. Patient participants (n = 12, from 181 eligible who received an information pack) were not recruited to feasibility targets. Those who entered the study demonstrated that intervention delivery and data collection were feasible. Outcome data must be treated with extreme caution due to small numbers, but indicate that the intervention may have a positive effect on quality of life. Conclusions: Peer mentor interventions are worthy of further study and researchers can learn from these feasibility data in planning participant recruitment and data collection strategies. Pragmatic trials, where the effectiveness of an intervention is tested in real-world routine practice, may be most appropriate. Peer mentor interventions may have merit in enabling survivors with advanced cancer cope with their disease. Trial Registration: The trial was prospectively registered 13.6.2016: ISRCTN10276684.

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Peer support to maintain psychological wellbeing in people with advanced cancer- Findings from a feasibility study for a Randomised Controlled Trial - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 7 August 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 17 August 2020
Published date: 17 August 2020
Additional Information: Publisher Copyright: © 2020 The Author(s).
Keywords: Cancer, Feasibility study, Palliative care, Peer support

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 443923
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/443923
PURE UUID: 6fdaf422-90cc-4fad-9cb3-b9e7c9e61fa8
ORCID for Lynn Calman: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9964-6017

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Date deposited: 16 Sep 2020 16:40
Last modified: 21 Oct 2022 01:42

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Contributors

Author: Catherine Walshe
Author: Diane Roberts
Author: Lynn Calman ORCID iD
Author: Lynda Appleton
Author: Robert Croft
Author: Suzanne Skevington
Author: Mari Lloyd-Williams
Author: Gunn Grande
Author: Guillermo Perez Algorta

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