Rationale and Study Design: A randomized controlled trial of early palliative care in newly diagnosed cancer patients in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Eleanor Reid, Ephrem Abathun, Jilcha Diribi, Yoseph Mamo, Peter Hall, Marie Fallon, Tigineh Wondemagegnhu, Liz Grant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Patient-reported outcomes and economic aspects of Palliative Care (PC) provision in low-income countries (LIC) are under-studied. Demonstrating the economic value of PC is key to sustainability and guiding health care policy. Our preliminary data in Ethiopia demonstrated a widespread need for PC, poor access to it, and high out of pocket payments (OOP). We suspect that in this and other LIC, PC may function not only to reduce suffering but also as a poverty reduction strategy.
We are conducting a randomized controlled trial of standard Oncology care versus standard Oncology care plus PC in newly diagnosed cancer patients in Addis Ababa. Ninety-seven adults presenting to Oncology Clinic will be randomized in a 1:1 ratio. Subjects receiving PC will meet with a PC provider at time of enrollment and at follow up visits in their homes. All subjects will be assessed via questionnaire at enrollment and follow-up Oncology visits at 8 ± 4 and 12 ± 4 weeks. A cost-consequence analysis will be performed, to include: patient-reported OOP and healthcare utilization, the latter to be assessed through chart adjudication. Outcomes will include change in African Palliative Care Association Palliative Outcome Score, changes in OOP and healthcare utilization.
We hypothesize that the cost of home-based PC will be offset by improvements in patient-reported outcomes, decreased OOP and healthcare utilization, rendering PC cost-effective in this LIC. These findings may lead to widespread dissemination of an effective, sustainable and cost-saving public PC delivery strategy that would improve the quality of life and death for millions of people.
Original languageEnglish
JournalContemporary clinical trials communications
Volume18
Early online date6 Apr 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Apr 2020

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