NexTSTEPS Study (H-39002)
NexTSTEPS: A Psychosocial Intervention for Advanced Cancer Patients and their Family Caregivers
Patients with advanced cancer experience higher rates of physical and emotional distress relative to those with early stage disease, adding to the suffering of their families who play a key role in providing care and emotional support.
This study seeks to evaluate a program that we have developed for advanced cancer patients and their family caregivers. The name of the program, NexTSTEPS, is an acronym for six skills that are important for successful symptom management and adjustment to cancer. They represent the next steps to take, so to speak, following the diagnosis of advanced cancer. The next steps are:
- Taking care of yourself
- Stress management
- Taking control of symptoms and side effects
- Effective communication
- Problem solving and coping as a team
- Social support
NexTSTEPS provides skills training in all six areas through a home-based program. Advanced cancer patients who are within one month of starting treatment and their partners will complete a baseline survey and then be randomly assigned to either the NexTSTEPS program (where patients and their caregivers will each receive educational manuals, a CD, and six phone counseling sessions), or to a usual medical care condition. Patients and partners will also complete three follow-up surveys occurring two, four and six months after baseline.
Patients and partners will receive gift cards to thank them for their time in the amounts of $10 after completing the baseline survey, $20 after completing the two-month follow-up survey, $30 after completing the four-month follow-up survey, and $40 after completing the six-month follow-up survey (up to $100 per person).
Eligible patients must have a diagnosis of advanced lung, head and neck, or gastrointestinal cancer and be within one month of starting treatment, ambulatory (able to walk unassisted) and capable of self-care, and have a family caregiver (e.g., spouse, significant other, adult child, sibling). In addition, both patients and caregivers must be over the age of 18, and have the ability to understand and communicate in English.
Senior Research Coordinator
Phone: (713) 440-4400, ext. 10213