Researchers key to advance care planning with cancer clinical trial patients

February 19, 2019

PHILADELPHIA (February 18, 2019) - Cancer clinical trials are an important option for patients with cancer. Yet, once a trial ends, patients still need care plans. Little is known at what point during clinical trial transitions to initiate advance planning discussions or how to educate research teams to communicate with and prepare patient-participants and their families for the next steps after they leave a cancer clinical trial.

In a recently published 'Viewpoint' article in JAMA Oncology, Connie M. Ulrich, PhD, RN, FAAN, the Lillian S. Brunner Chair in Medical and Surgical Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing), underscores that clinical trial researchers are well positioned to initiate advance care planning discussions to help cancer patients and their families with their post-trial needs.

"Participation in a cancer clinical trial presents a crucial opportunity to engage patients and their families in meaningful dialogue about end-of-life care and palliative care, to clarify misconceptions about trial goals, to foster conversations about advance care planning, and to help patients make informed decisions about next steps," said Ulrich.

Ulrich stresses that good normative and empirical data are needed to better understand the post-trial needs and expectations of cancer trial patients; the role of advance care planning discussions during cancer trial transitions; and the psychological, physical, and social support factors that influence participants' and their caregivers' perceptions of these transitions.
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The article was co-authored by Christine Grady, PhD, RN, of the Department of Bioethics, National Institutes of Health.

About the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing is one of the world's leading schools of nursing. For the third year in a row, it is ranked the #1 nursing school in the world by QS University and is consistently ranked highly in the U.S. News & World Report annual list of best graduate schools. Penn Nursing is currently ranked # 1 in funding from the National Institutes of Health, among other schools of nursing, for the second consecutive year. Penn Nursing prepares nurse scientists and nurse leaders to meet the health needs of a global society through innovation in research, education, and practice. Follow Penn Nursing on: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, & Instagram.

University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

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