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Oncology News Central (ONC)Palliative Care for Lung Cancer Via Video? Telehealth “Very Viable Option,” Study Shows

Telehealth as an Effective Alternative: A Study on Palliative Care Delivery for Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Reveals Potential for Increased Accessibility and Comparable Outcomes

A recent study presented at the 2024 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting has highlighted the potential of video visits as an equally effective alternative to in-person palliative care for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The REACH study, involving 1,250 patients across 22 sites, demonstrated that telehealth can provide similar improvements in quality of life and patient satisfaction, making it a viable option for early palliative care delivery in oncology.

Key Points:

  • Study Overview: The REACH study assessed the effectiveness of video-based palliative care compared to in-person care for advanced NSCLC.
  • Patient Cohort: The study included 1,250 patients diagnosed with advanced NSCLC within the previous 12 weeks, spanning 22 sites in 18 states.
  • Duration and Measures: Patients and caregivers reported outcomes at 12, 24, 36, and 48 weeks, with a focus on the 24-week results for patients.
  • Visit Frequency: Participants had an average of 4.75 video visits and 4.92 in-person visits by week 24.
  • Quality of Life: Primary outcome scores for quality of life were nearly identical, with telehealth scoring 99.67 and in-person visits scoring 97.67.
  • Patient Satisfaction: Satisfaction scores were also comparable, with telehealth scoring 41.3 and in-person visits scoring 41.0.
  • Caregiver Participation: Caregiver attendance was higher in the in-person group (49.7%) compared to the video visit group (36.6%).
  • Caregiver Outcomes: No significant differences were observed in caregiver quality of life or mood symptoms between the two groups.

“I think it’s time to move past the battle between in-person versus telehealth care delivery, and instead focus on when and how to best use telehealth.”
— Monika Krzyzanowska, MD, Chief of the Odette Cancer Program at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, Canada

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