Purpose/Objectives: To examine differences in healthcare service utilization among patients with advanced cancer participating in a nurse-led psychoeducational intervention.
Design: Secondary analysis of trial data.
Setting: Four Michigan cancer centers.
Sample: 484 patients with advanced cancer.
Methods: Patients were randomized to three groups: brief intervention, extensive intervention, or control. Medical chart review took place at baseline, three months, and six months to measure patients’ healthcare service utilization, defined as emergency department (ED) visits or inpatient hospitalizations. Multivariable logistic regression was used to examine the odds, by study arm, of visiting the ED and being hospitalized, controlling for patient sociodemographic and health status factors, as well as baseline health-related quality of life (QOL).
Main Research Variables: Study arm (brief, extensive, or control), ED visitation (one or more times versus none), inpatient hospitalizations (one or more times versus none), and covariates.
Findings: No significant differences in ED visits or inpatient hospitalizations were observed among study arms. ED visits were more frequent for patients with lung or colorectal cancer, more comorbidities, and lower baseline QOL. Baseline QOL was associated with inpatient hospitalizations in the adjusted analysis.
Conclusions: The psychoeducational intervention, either in brief or extensive format, is unlikely to increase healthcare service utilization.
Implications for Nursing: Efficacious nurse-led psychoeducational interventions to improve QOL do not place undue burdens on the healthcare system and may improve care.