Integrating palliative care into self-management of breast cancer: Protocol for a pilot randomized controlled trial

Dena Schulman-Green, Sarah Linsky, Sangchoon Jeon, Jennifer Kapo, Leslie Blatt, Anees Chagpar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Despite evidence that palliative care increases quality and length of life, many patients and families remain uninformed about its nature and benefits. The purpose of this study is to test a psycho-educational intervention, Managing Cancer Care: A Personal Guide (MCC), intended to improve breast cancer patients' knowledge of palliative care and to facilitate its timely integration into cancer self-management. Methods: Aims are to: 1) evaluate the effects of MCC on patients' knowledge of palliative care; 2) examine preliminary effects of MCC on patients' behaviors (role in self-management, engagement in goals of care conversations, medical communication, management of transitions, health care utilization), and feelings (self-efficacy, anxiety, depression, uncertainty); and 3) evaluate protocol feasibility and acceptability. An exploratory aim is to investigate how demographic and clinical factors may moderate intervention effects, with emphasis on differences in use and outcomes among minority participants. We plan to enroll 60 patients and their family caregivers with 50% minority participation. The intervention group receives MCC; the attention-control group receives a Symptom Management Toolkit. We collect data at baseline, one, and three months. Discussion: This study will inform a large scale trial of MCC. It is challenging for patients with breast cancer, their family caregivers, and providers to make choices that include palliation alone or in combination with potentially curative treatment. MCC may help address this challenge by giving patients the information, skills, and confidence to better self-manage breast cancer. Results may help to establish palliative care as a mainstay of self-management interventions targeting serious illness. Trial registration: Identifier NCT02148575 (date registered: 5.21.14; date. first patient enrolled: 7.15.14).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-138
Number of pages6
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Breast cancer
  • Palliative care
  • Self-management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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