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Grant Details

Grant Number: 5R37CA246703-05 Interpret this number
Primary Investigator: Shen, Megan
Organization: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center
Project Title: Planning Advance Care Together (PACT) to Improve Engagement in Advance Care Planning Among Advanced Cancer Patients
Fiscal Year: 2023


PROJECT SUMMARY/ABSTRACT Engagement in advance care planning (ACP), which includes having end-of-life (EoL) conversations and completing advance directives (ADs) (e.g., living will, health care proxy), has been shown to improve the quality of care and reduce suffering at the end of life. However, less than half of advanced cancer patients engage in ACP or complete ADs. One commonly overlooked barrier to ACP engagement and AD completion is a lack of acknowledgment that the majority of cancer patients report ACP as a social process in which they want to engage multiple loved ones and family members in their decision-making process. Dr. Shen’s work, in collaboration with her Co-Investigator Dr. Prigerson, suggests that patients frequently report involvement of family members as a critical concern and need for engaging in ACP and that 70.7% report their EoL care treatment preferences being shaped around concerns about their family members. Based on this pilot work and prior work indicating a patient preference to engage in ACP as a social process, this study aims to develop and pilot test a mobile application [Planning Advance Care Together (PACT)] designed to improve advanced cancer patients’ and caregivers’ engagement in patients’ ACP, presence of ACP discussions, completion of ADs, and receipt of goal-concordant care. The goals of this study are to: (1) refine and field-test a mobile application intervention (PACT) using an iterative design approach, “Think Aloud” exercises, and usability protocols; (2) evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, usability, satisfaction, and user engagement of the intervention among advanced cancer patients and their caregivers; (3) test the preliminary efficacy of the intervention on patients’ and caregivers’ level of engagement in ACP, documented ACP conversations, and patients’ completion of ADs (primary outcomes); and patients’ and caregivers’ perceived social support and family functioning as well as patients’ receipt of goal-concordant care (secondary outcomes); and (4) evaluate process measures in a post-intervention interview. To meet these goals, we will collect feedback from advanced cancer patients (n=10), caregivers (n=10), and providers (n=10) to improve and refine the intervention prototype. Next, we will conduct iterative field-testing with two sets of patient-caregiver dyads (n=15 per group) to refine the mobile application. Then, we will randomize n=100 patient-caregiver dyads to the intervention group and n=100 dyads to the control group (usual care) and assess outcomes at baseline and 3 and 6 months post-intervention to determine the feasibility, acceptability, usability, satisfaction, user engagement, and preliminary efficacy of the intervention. Finally, we will conduct a brief post-intervention interview with a subset of patients (n=15) and caregivers (n=15) to understand processes of using the PACT application. Grounded in established theories of decision-making science, the proposed project takes the novel approach of utilizing mobile health technology to integrate loved ones into patients’ ACP decision-making.


Latino advanced cancer patients' prognostic awareness and familial cultural influences on advance care planning engagement: a qualitative study.
Authors: Torres Blasco N. , Rosario L. , Shen M.J. .
Source: Palliative care and social practice, 2023; 17, p. 26323524231193038.
EPub date: 2023-08-30.
PMID: 37662440
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