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Conducting Intervention Research Through the Cancer Information Service: A Feasibility Study

Susan Heidrich
Sandra Ward
Karen Julesberg
Nina Miller
Heidi Donovan
Sigridur Gunnarsdottir
Sarah Davis
Susan Hughes
Ronald C. Serlin
ONF 2003, 30(1), 131-134 DOI: 10.1188/03.ONF.131-134

Purpose/Objectives: To determine the feasibility of conducting trials of educational interventions regarding pain and quality of life (QOL) with people who call the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Information Service (CIS).

Design: Descriptive.

Setting: North Central CIS, located at the University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center in Madison.

Sample: Callers to the North Central CIS who self-identified as people diagnosed with cancer or as family members or friends of people diagnosed with cancer were eligible. 102 people with cancer and 103 significant others answered questions concerning the feasibility of a pain study, and 101 significant others completed questions about the feasibility of a QOL study.

Methods: Eligible CIS callers were invited at the end of usual service to participate in a research study. Those who agreed were asked structured questions regarding pain or QOL.

Main Research Variables: Response rate, length of time to complete recruitment, concerns about reporting pain and using analgesics, concerns about QOL, demographic variables, and willingness to join a hypothetical study.

Findings: The majority of callers had concerns about pain and QOL, and the vast majority (78%-89%) of participants indicated a willingness to join a future educational intervention study.

Conclusions: Using subjects recruited through CIS, conducting trials of brief telephone interventions designed to help patients overcome barriers to pain management or assist families in addressing QOL concerns may be feasible.

Implications for Nursing: Researchers may wish to consider the opportunities afforded by collaborating with CIS colleagues in planning and conducting studies of educational interventions.

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