Dissemination and Implementation of a Community Health Worker Intervention for Disparities in Palliative Care (DeCIDE PC): a study protocol for a hybrid type 1 randomized controlled trial

BMC Palliat Care. 2023 Sep 18;22(1):139. doi: 10.1186/s12904-023-01250-0.


Background: There are persistent racial and ethnic health disparities in end-of-life health outcomes in the United States. African American patients are less likely than White patients to access palliative care, enroll in hospice care, have documented goals of care discussions with their healthcare providers, receive adequate symptom control, or die at home. We developed Community Health Worker Intervention for Disparities in Palliative Care (DeCIDE PC) to address these disparities. DeCIDE PC is an integrated community health worker (CHW) palliative care intervention that uses community health workers (CHWs) as care team members to enhance the receipt of palliative care for African Americans with advanced cancer. The overall objectives of this study are to (1) assess the effectiveness of the DeCIDE PC intervention in improving palliative care outcomes amongst African American patients with advanced solid organ malignancy and their informal caregivers, and (2) develop generalizable knowledge on how contextual factors influence implementation to facilitate dissemination, uptake, and sustainability of the intervention.

Methods: We will conduct a multicenter, randomized, assessor-blind, parallel-group, pragmatic, hybrid type 1 effectiveness-implementation trial at three cancer centers across the United States. The DeCIDE PC intervention will be delivered over 6 months with CHW support tailored to the individual needs of the patient and caregiver. The primary outcome will be advance care planning. The treatment effect will be modeled using logistic regression. The secondary outcomes are quality of life, quality of communication, hospice care utilization, and patient symptoms.

Discussion: We expect the DeCIDE PC intervention to improve integration of palliative care, reduce multilevel barriers to care, enhance clinic and patient linkage to resources, and ultimately improve palliative care outcomes for African American patients with advanced cancer. If found to be effective, the DeCIDE PC intervention may be a transformative model with the potential to guide large-scale adoption of promising strategies to improve palliative care use and decrease disparities in end-of-life care for African American patients with advanced cancer in the United States.

Trial registration: Registered on ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT05407844). First posted on June 7, 2022.

Keywords: Advanced cancer; CHW; Cancer; Community; Community health worker; Health disparities; Palliative care; Racial disparities.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial Protocol

MeSH terms

  • Community Health Workers
  • Death
  • Hospice and Palliative Care Nursing*
  • Humans
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Palliative Care
  • Quality of Life
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Terminal Care*

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT05407844