Factors associated with attrition from a randomized controlled trial of meaning-centered group psychotherapy for patients with advanced cancer.
ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE: The generalizability of palliative care intervention research is often limited by high rates of study attrition. This study examined factors associated with attrition from a randomized controlled trial comparing meaning-centered group psychotherapy (MCGP), an intervention designed to help advanced cancer patients sustain or enhance their sense of meaning to the supportive group psychotherapy (SGP), a standardized support group. METHODS: Patients with advanced solid tumor cancers (n = 153) were randomized to eight sessions of either the MCGP or SGP. They completed assessments of psychosocial, spiritual, and physical well-being pretreatment, midtreatment, and 2 months post-treatment. Attrition was assessed in terms of the percent of participants who failed to complete these assessments, and demographic, psychiatric, medical, and study-related correlates of attrition were examined for the participants in each of these categories. RESULTS: The rates of attrition at these time points were 28.1%, 17.7%, and 11.1%, respectively; 43.1% of the participants (66 of 153) completed the entire study. The most common reason for dropout was patients feeling too ill. Attrition rates did not vary significantly between study arms. The participants who dropped out pretreatment reported less financial concerns than post-treatment dropouts, and the participants who dropped out of the study midtreatment had poorer physical health than treatment completers. There were no other significant associations between attrition and any demographic, medical, psychiatric, or study-related variables. CONCLUSIONS: These findings highlight the challenge of maintaining advanced cancer patients in longitudinal research and suggest the need to consider alternative approaches (e.g., telemedicine) for patients who might benefit from group interventions but are too ill to travel. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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ABSTRACT: Background: There is a lack of psychotherapeutic trials of treatments of comorbid depression in cancer patients. Our study determines the efficacy of a manualized short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy and predictors of outcome by personality and quality of the therapeutic relationship.BMC Cancer 12/2012; 12(578). · 3.33 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Attrition is common among supportive care/palliative oncology clinical trials. However, to the authors' knowledge, few studies to date have documented the reasons and predictors for dropout. In the current study, the authors' objective was to determine the rate, reasons, and factors associated with attrition both before reaching the primary endpoint and at the end of the study. METHODS: A review of all prospective interventional supportive care/palliative oncology trials conducted in the Department of Palliative Care and Rehabilitation Medicine at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston between 1999 and 2011 was performed. Patient and study characteristics and attrition data were extracted. RESULTS: A total of 1214 patients were included in 18 clinical trials. The median age of the patients was 60 years. Approximately 41% had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of ≥ 3, a median Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS) for fatigue of 7 of 10, and a median ESAS for dyspnea of 2 of 10. The attrition rate was 26% (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 23%-28%) for the primary endpoint and 44% (95% CI, 41%-47%) for the end of the study. Common reasons for primary endpoint dropout were symptom burden (21%), patient preference (15%), hospitalization (10%), and death (6%). Primary endpoint attrition was associated with a higher baseline intensity of fatigue (odds ratio [OR], 1.10 per point; P = .01) and a longer study duration (P = .04). End-of-study attrition was associated with higher baseline levels of dyspnea (OR, 1.06; P = .01), fatigue (OR, 1.08; P = .01), Hispanic race (OR, 1.87; P = .002), higher level of education (P = .02), longer study duration (P = .01), and outpatient studies (P = 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The attrition rate was high in supportive care/palliative oncology clinical trials, and was associated with various patient characteristics and a high baseline symptom burden. These findings have implications for future clinical trial design including eligibility criteria and sample size calculation. Cancer 2012. © 2012 American Cancer Society.Cancer 11/2012; · 5.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Abstract Background: Complex interventions are common in palliative and end-of-life care. Mixed methods approaches sit well within the multiphase model of complex intervention development and evaluation. Generic mixed methods guidance is useful but additional challenges in the research design and operationalization within palliative and end-of-life care may have an impact on the use of mixed methods. Objective: The objective of the study was to develop guidance on the best methods for combining quantitative and qualitative methods for health and social care intervention development and evaluation in palliative and end-of-life care. Methods: A one-day workshop was held where experts participated in facilitated groups using Transparent Expert Consultation to generate items for potential recommendations. Agreement and consensus were then sought on nine draft recommendations (DRs) in a follow-up exercise. Results: There was at least moderate agreement with most of the DRs, although consensus was low. Strongest agreement was with DR1 (usefulness of mixed methods to palliative and end-of-life care) and DR5 (importance of attention to respondent burden), and least agreement was with DR2 (use of theoretical perspectives) and DR6 (therapeutic effects of research interviews). Narrative comments enabled recommendation refinement. Two fully endorsed, five partially endorsed, and two refined DRs emerged. The relationship of these nine to six key challenges of palliative and end-of-life care research was analyzed. Conclusions: There is a need for further discussion of these recommendations and their contribution to methodology. The recommendations should be considered when designing and operationalizing mixed methods studies of complex interventions in palliative care, and because they may have wider relevance, should be considered for other applications.Journal of palliative medicine 11/2013; · 1.84 Impact Factor