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      Shared care follow-up of patients with B-cell neoplasms based on nurse-led telephone consultations and PRO-data: a feasibility study from the North Denmark Region

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          Abstract

          Background

          Patients with B-cell neoplasms in remission are monitored with regular physician visits at the hospital. The current standard follow-up procedure is not evidence-based or individualized to patient needs. To improve and individualize the follow-up, we investigated the feasibility of a shared care follow-up initiative, with alternating physician visits and nurse-led telephone consultations and assessments based on patient-reported outcome (PRO) data.

          Methods

          Patients ≥18 years diagnosed with B-cell neoplasms were eligible for the study when they were in remission and stable without treatment for at least 6 months. Patients were assigned to alternating visits with physicians and nurse-led telephone consultations. The nurse-led telephone consultations were based on PROs, which were collected with the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer questionnaire (EORTC-QLQ-C30), the Myeloproliferative Neoplasm – Symptom Assessment Form, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Patients completed questionnaires before every nurse-led consultation. We also applied the Patient Feedback Form to survey patient acceptance of the requirement of questionnaire completion. We applied descriptive statistics, in terms of counts (n) and proportions (%), to describe the study population and all endpoints.

          Results

          Between February 2017 and December 2018, 80 patients were enrolled. Adherence, measured as the recruitment rate, was 96% (80/83), and the drop-out rate was 6% (5/80). During the study period, 3/80 (4%) patients relapsed, and 5/80 (6%) patients returned to the standard follow-up, because they required closer medical observation. Relapses were diagnosed based on unscheduled visits requested by patients ( n = 2) and patient-reported symptoms reviewed by the nurse ( n = 1). The response rate to questionnaires was 98% (335/341). A total of 58/79 (74%) patients completed the Patient Feedback Form; 51/57 (89%) patients reported improved communication with health care professionals; and 50/57 (88%) patients reported improved recollection of symptoms as a result of completing questionnaires.

          Conclusion

          Based on patient adherence, a low relapse rate, and positive patient attitudes towards completing questionnaires, we concluded that a shared care follow-up, supported by PROs, was a feasible alternative to the standard follow-up for patients with B-cell disease in remission.

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          Most cited references 45

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          The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale

           A Zigmond,  R P Snaith (1983)
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            An audit of sample sizes for pilot and feasibility trials being undertaken in the United Kingdom registered in the United Kingdom Clinical Research Network database

            Background There is little published guidance as to the sample size required for a pilot or feasibility trial despite the fact that a sample size justification is a key element in the design of a trial. A sample size justification should give the minimum number of participants needed in order to meet the objectives of the trial. This paper seeks to describe the target sample sizes set for pilot and feasibility randomised controlled trials, currently running within the United Kingdom. Methods Data were gathered from the United Kingdom Clinical Research Network (UKCRN) database using the search terms ‘pilot’ and ‘feasibility’. From this search 513 studies were assessed for eligibility of which 79 met the inclusion criteria. Where the data summary on the UKCRN Database was incomplete, data were also gathered from: the International Standardised Randomised Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN) register; the clinicaltrials.gov website and the website of the funders. For 62 of the trials, it was necessary to contact members of the research team by email to ensure completeness. Results Of the 79 trials analysed, 50 (63.3%) were labelled as pilot trials, 25 (31.6%) feasibility and 14 were described as both pilot and feasibility trials. The majority had two arms (n = 68, 86.1%) and the two most common endpoints were continuous (n = 45, 57.0%) and dichotomous (n = 31, 39.2%). Pilot trials were found to have a smaller sample size per arm (median = 30, range = 8 to 114 participants) than feasibility trials (median = 36, range = 10 to 300 participants). By type of endpoint, across feasibility and pilot trials, the median sample size per arm was 36 (range = 10 to 300 participants) for trials with a dichotomous endpoint and 30 (range = 8 to 114 participants) for trials with a continuous endpoint. Publicly funded pilot trials appear to be larger than industry funded pilot trials: median sample sizes of 33 (range = 15 to 114 participants) and 25 (range = 8 to 100 participants) respectively. Conclusion All studies should have a sample size justification. Not all studies however need to have a sample size calculation. For pilot and feasibility trials, while a sample size justification is important, a formal sample size calculation may not be appropriate. The results in this paper describe the observed sample sizes in feasibility and pilot randomised controlled trials on the UKCRN Database.
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              Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up.

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                m.sommer@rn.dk
                Journal
                BMC Health Serv Res
                BMC Health Serv Res
                BMC Health Services Research
                BioMed Central (London )
                1472-6963
                17 November 2020
                17 November 2020
                2020
                : 20
                Affiliations
                [1 ]GRID grid.27530.33, ISNI 0000 0004 0646 7349, Department of Hematology, , Aalborg University Hospital, ; Sdr. Skovvej 15, DK-9000 Aalborg, Denmark
                [2 ]GRID grid.5117.2, ISNI 0000 0001 0742 471X, Department of Clinical Medicine, , Aalborg University, ; Aalborg, Denmark
                [3 ]GRID grid.27530.33, ISNI 0000 0004 0646 7349, Clinical Nursing Research Unit, , Aalborg University Hospital, ; Aalborg, Denmark
                [4 ]GRID grid.27530.33, ISNI 0000 0004 0646 7349, Clinical Cancer Research Center, , Aalborg University Hospital, ; Aalborg, Denmark
                Article
                5899
                10.1186/s12913-020-05899-8
                7670769
                33198756
                © The Author(s) 2020

                Open AccessThis article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

                Funding
                Funded by: Region Nordjylland (DK)
                Categories
                Research Article
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2020

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