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Developing a community-based intervention to improve quality of life in people with colorectal cancer: a complex intervention development study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Justin Presseau


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Objectives: To develop and pilot a theory and evidence-based intervention to improve quality of life (QoL) in people with colorectal cancer. Design: A complex intervention development study. Setting: North East Scotland and Glasgow. Participants: Semistructured interviews with people with colorectal cancer (n=28), cancer specialists (n=16) and primary care health professionals (n=14) and pilot testing with patients (n=12). Interventions: A single, 1 h nurse home visit 6–12 weeks after diagnosis, and telephone follow-up 1 week later (with a view to ongoing follow-up in future). Primary and secondary outcome measures: Qualitative assessment of intervention feasibility and acceptability. Results: Modifiable predictors of QoL identified previously were symptoms (fatigue, pain, diarrhoea, shortness of breath, insomnia, anorexia/cachexia, poor psychological well-being, sexual problems) and impaired activities. To modify these symptoms and activities, an intervention based on Control Theory was developed to help participants identify personally important symptoms and activities; set appropriate goals; use action planning to progress towards goals; self-monitor progress and identify (and tackle) barriers limiting progress. Interview responses were generally favourable and included recommendations about timing and style of delivery that were incorporated into the intervention. The pilot study demonstrated the feasibility of intervention delivery. Conclusions: Through multidisciplinary collaboration, a theory-based, acceptable and feasible intervention to improve QoL in colorectal cancer patients was developed, and can now be evaluated.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gray NM, Allan JL, Murchie P, Browne S, Hall S, Hubbard G, Johnston M, Lee AJ, McKinley A, Macleod U, Presseau J, Samuel L, Wyke S, Campbell NC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BMJ Open

Year: 2013

Volume: 3

Issue: 4

Print publication date: 11/04/2013

ISSN (electronic): 2044-6055

Publisher: BMJ Group


DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2013-002596

Notes: Article e002596 is 10 pp.


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Funder referenceFunder name
Cancer Research UK