Implementing the Fatigue Guidelines at one NCCN member institution: Process and outcomes

Department of Nursing Research & Education, Division of Population Sciences, Beckman Research Institute, City of Hope National Medical Center, 1500 E. Duarte Road, Duarte, CA 91010, USA.
Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network: JNCCN (Impact Factor: 4.18). 11/2007; 5(10):1092-101.
Source: PubMed


Fatigue, despite being the most common and distressing symptom in cancer, is often unrelieved because of numerous patient, provider, and system barriers. The overall purpose of this 5-year prospective clinical trial is to translate the NCCN Cancer-Related Fatigue Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology and NCCN Adult Cancer Pain Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology into practice and develop a translational interventional model that can be replicated across settings. This article focuses on one NCCN member institution's experience related to the first phase of the NCCN Cancer-Related Fatigue Guidelines implementation, describing usual care compared with evidence-based guidelines. Phase 1 of this 3-phased clinical trial compared the usual care of fatigue with that administered according to the NCCN guidelines. Eligibility criteria included age 18 years or older; English-speaking; diagnosed with breast, lung, colon, or prostate cancer; and fatigue and/or pain ratings of 4 or more on a 0 to 10 screening scale. Research nurses screened all available subjects in a cancer center medical oncology clinic to identify those meeting these criteria. Instruments included the Piper Fatigue Scale, a Fatigue Barriers Scale, a Fatigue Knowledge Scale, and a Fatigue Chart Audit Tool. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used in data analysis. At baseline, 45 patients had fatigue only (> or = 4) and 24 had both fatigue and pain (> or = 4). This combined sample (N = 69) was predominantly Caucasian (65%), female (63%), an average of 60 years old, diagnosed with stage 3 or 4 breast cancer, and undergoing treatment (82%). The most common barriers noted were patients' belief that physicians would introduce the subject of fatigue if it was important (patient barrier); lack of fatigue documentation (professional barrier); and lack of supportive care referrals (system barrier). Findings showed several patient, professional, and system barriers that distinguish usual care from that recommended by the NCCN Cancer-Related Fatigue Guidelines. Phase 2, the intervention model, is designed to decrease these barriers and improve patient outcomes over time, and is in progress.

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Available from: Tami Borneman, Oct 07, 2015
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    • "Reducing cancer-associated fatigue and fatigue associated with cancer therapy are now considered important therapeutic goals. Psychological, physical, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical methods have been undertaken to reduce fatigue and improve the quality of life of cancer patients (Borneman et al., 2007; Escalante et al., 2011; Nicolson, 2010). These treatments are based on suppressing fatigue but also on controlling co-morbid or related symptoms, such as pain, anemia, cachexia, sleep disorders, depression and other symptoms (Escalante et al., 2011; Mustian et al., 2007; Nicolson, 2010; Ryan et al., 2007; Watson & Mock, 2004; Zee & Acoli-Isreal, 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Nutritional supplements have been used in a variety of diseases to provide patients with a natural, safe alternative to pharmacological drugs. In patients with cancer nutritional supplements are often used for specific purposes or to improve quality of life. For example, cancer-associated fatigue is one of the most common symptoms in all forms and stages of cancer, but few patients receive assistance for their fatigue. Cancer-associated fatigue is associated with cellular oxidative stress, and during cancer therapy excess drug-induced oxidative stress can cause a number of adverse effects, including: fatigue, nausea, vomiting and more serious effects. Cancer-associated fatigue and the adverse effects of cancer therapy can be reduced with Lipid Replacement Therapy, a natural lipid supplement formulation that replaces damaged membrane lipids along with providing antioxidants and enzymatic cofactors. Administering dietary Lipid Replacement Therapy can reduce oxidative membrane damage and restore mitochondrial and other cellular functions. Recent clinical trials using cancer and non-cancer patients with chronic fatigue have shown the benefits of specific Lipid Replacement Therapy nutritional lipid supplements in reducing fatigue and restoring mitochondrial function
    Topics in Cancer Survivorship Vol.2, 01/2012: chapter 10: pages 1-18; , ISBN: ISBN 978-953-307-894-6
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    • "Alleviating CRF is a high-priority issue, [10] with a documented need for new treatment approaches [11]. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) enumerates many pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic options [2]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is a prominent clinical problem. There are calls for multi-modal interventions. We assessed the feasibility of delivering patient education integrated with acupuncture for relief of CRF in a pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) with breast cancer survivors using usual care as control. Social cognitive and integrative medicine theories guided integration of patient education with acupuncture into a coherent treatment protocol. The intervention consisted of two parts. First, patients were taught to improve self-care by optimizing exercise routines, improving nutrition, implementing some additional evidence-based cognitive behavioral techniques such as stress management in four weekly 50-minute sessions. Second, patients received eight weekly 50-minute acupuncture sessions. The pre-specified primary outcome, CRF, was assessed with the Brief Fatigue Inventory (BFI). Secondary outcomes included three dimensions of cognitive impairment assessed with the FACT-COGv2. Due to difficulties in recruitment, we tried several methods that led to the development of a tailored recruitment strategy: we enlisted oncologists into the core research team and recruited patients completing treatment from oncology waiting rooms. Compared to usual care control, the intervention was associated with a 2.38-point decline in fatigue as measured by the BFI (90% Confidence Interval from 0.586 to 5.014; p <0.10). Outcomes associated with cognitive dysfunction were not statistically significant. Patient education integrated with acupuncture had a very promising effect that warrants conducting a larger RCT to confirm findings. An effective recruitment strategy will be essential for the successful execution of a larger-scale trial. NCT00646633.
    BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 06/2011; 11(1):49. DOI:10.1186/1472-6882-11-49 · 2.02 Impact Factor
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    • "According to studies published recently within the cancer epidemiology and health research outcomes areas, fatigue is one of the most frequent symptoms with a major impact on oncology patients [1–3]. Cancer-related fatigue (CRF), which has been defined as a “distressing persistent subjective sense of physical, emotional, and/or cognitive tiredness” [4], is a very prevalent symptom that can affect more than three quarters of oncology patients [5–8]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Fatigue is a symptom with a relevant impact on the daily lives of cancer patients and is gaining importance as an outcome measure. The Perform Questionnaire (PQ) is a new scale originally developed among Spanish-speaking patients for the assessment of perception and beliefs about fatigue in cancer patients. An observational longitudinal multicenter study was carried out on cancer patients with fatigue. Fatigue-specific measures (FACT-F), generic health-related quality-of-life measures (NHP), and PQ were gathered at baseline and 3 months later. Feasibility, reliability (internal consistency and test-retest), validity, sensitivity to change, and minimally important differences were analysed. Four hundred thirty-seven patients were included in the study: 60.5% were women, the mean age was 59.1 years, the mean time from diagnosis was 2.2 years, 33.6% of patients had breast cancer, and 29.1% had anaemia (haemoglobin (Hb) <11 g/dL). Low levels of missing items and ceiling/floor effects (<10%) were found. The overall Cronbach's alpha and intraclass correlation coefficient were 0.94 and 0.83, respectively. The PQ score was associated with fatigue intensity, the need for a caregiver, and the Hb level. Its association was stronger with the FACT-F than with non-specific health measures (NHP). The PQ showed good sensitivity to change for improved and worsening health status. A minimally important difference of 3.5 was estimated in patients whose Hb level had improved by at least 1 g/dL. The PQ measured the attitudes and beliefs about fatigue among cancer patients in clinical practice and showed good psychometric properties among Spanish-speaking patients.
    Supportive Care in Cancer 05/2011; 19(5):657-66. DOI:10.1007/s00520-010-0878-x · 2.36 Impact Factor
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