Investigating a community intervention to promote quality of life and help-seeking for potential cancer symptoms
AbstractBackground: Detecting bodily change is an important step towards diagnosing cancer and the Pathways to Treatment Model acknowledges this. Delays in help-seeking can affect survival. As quality of life (QoL) is affected by the presence of cancer, we investigated whether feeding-back personal QoL results at this early stage benefits wellbeing in those with suspected cancer, and enhances help-seeking. Methods: Adults were recruited at a CRUK roadshow during its visits to socio-economically deprived communities. Specialist nurses sign-posted visitors to primary care. A 2x2 design was used in this pilot study. Participants were randomly allocated to an Intervention group (QoL feedback, self-management and resources), or a Control group (QoL assessment or none). They were naturalistically assigned to a Symptoms group, if cancer was suspected, or a Lifestyle group, if seeking cancer risk reduction advice. Participants completed the WHOQOL-BREF; WHOQOL Importance measure; Changes to QoL; Depressive symptoms (PHQ-2), and help-seeking questionnaires. Results: From a total of 107 (50% male), 57% had not received higher education; 66% did not work, and 45% were ill. Follow-up 1 (FU1) was conducted 2 (n=68), and 10 weeks (FU2) (n=54) after baseline; 54% of the Symptoms group sought help at FU1, and a further 55% at FU2. No QoL improvements were recorded for the Symptoms group after the Intervention, but the Lifestyle group reported improved psychological QoL; depression was a covariate (MANCOVA). Conclusion: In deprived communities the Intervention is not suited to those with suspected cancer symptom, but those seeking lifestyle advice confirm substantial benefits to wellbeing.
Copyright (c) 2017 S. Skevington, H. Long, N. Gartland
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