Oncology to specialised palliative home care systematic transition: the Domus randomised trial

BMJ Support Palliat Care. 2020 Sep;10(3):350-357. doi: 10.1136/bmjspcare-2020-002325. Epub 2020 Jul 17.


Objectives: To assess the effect of a systematic, fast-track transition from oncological treatment to specialised palliative care at home on symptom burden, to explore intervention mechanisms through patient and intervention provider characteristics and to assess long-term survival and place of death.

Measures: The effect of a systematic, fast-track transition from oncological treatment to specialised palliative care at home on patient symptom burden was studied in the Domus randomised clinical trial. Participants had incurable cancer and limited treatment options. The intervention was provided by specialised palliative home teams (SPT) based in hospice or hospital and was enriched with a psychological intervention for patient and caregiver dyad. Symptom burden was measured with Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS-r) at baseline, 8 weeks and 6 months follow-up and analysed with mixed models. Survival and place of death was analysed with Kaplan-Meier and Fisher's exact tests.

Results: The study included 322 patients. Tiredness was significantly improved for the Domus intervention group at 6 months while the other nine symptom outcomes were not significantly different from the control group. Exploring the efficacy of intervention provider demonstrated significant differences in favour of the hospice SPT on four symptoms and total symptom score. Patients with children responded more favourably to the intervention. The long-term follow-up demonstrated no differences between the intervention and the control groups regarding survival or home deaths.

Conclusions: The Domus intervention may reduce tiredness. Moreover, the intervention provider and having children might play a role concerning intervention efficacy. The intervention did not affect survival or home deaths.

Trial registration number: NCT01885637.

Keywords: symptoms and symptom management.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Caregivers / psychology
  • Child
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Fatigue / therapy
  • Female
  • Home Care Services*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Oncology / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Palliative Care / methods*
  • Patient Transfer / methods*

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01885637