Feasibility and acceptability of a nurse-led telehealth intervention (BOLSTER) to support patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis and their caregivers: A pilot randomized clinical trial

Gynecol Oncol. 2024 Jun 7:188:1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2024.06.001. Online ahead of print.


Objective: Patients with advanced gynecologic (GYN) and gastrointestinal (GI) cancers frequently develop peritoneal carcinomatosis (PC), which limits prognosis and diminishes health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Palliative procedures may improve PC symptoms, yet patients and caregivers report feeling unprepared to manage ostomies, catheters, and other complex needs. Our objectives were to (1) assess the feasibility of an efficacy trial of a nurse-led telehealth intervention (BOLSTER) for patients with PC and their caregivers; and (2) assess BOLSTER's acceptability, potential to improve patients' HRQoL and self-efficacy, and potential impact on advance care planning (ACP).

Methods: Pilot feasibility RCT. Recently hospitalized adults with advanced GYN and GI cancers, PC, and a new complex care need and their caregivers were randomized 1:1 to BOLSTER or enhanced discharge planning (EDP). We defined feasibility as a ≥ 50% approach-to-consent ratio and acceptability as ≥70% satisfaction with BOLSTER. We assessed patients' HRQoL and self-efficacy at baseline and six weeks, then compared the proportion experiencing meaningful improvements by arm. ACP documentation was identified using natural language processing.

Results: We consented 77% of approached patients. In the BOLSTER arm, 91.0% of patients and 100.0% of caregivers were satisfied. Compared to EDP, more patients receiving BOLSTER experienced improvements in HRQoL (68.4% vs. 40.0%) and self-efficacy for managing symptoms (78.9% vs. 35.0%) and treatment (52.9% vs. 42.9%). The BOLSTER arm had more ACP documentation.

Conclusions: BOLSTER is a feasible and acceptable intervention with the potential to improve patients' HRQoL and promote ACP. An efficacy trial comparing BOLSTER to usual care is underway.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT03367247; PI: Wright.

Keywords: Caregivers; Palliative care; Perioperative care; Peritoneal neoplasms; Psychooncology; Quality of life.

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03367247