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Research into the supportive care of patients with cancer cachexia syndrome and their family members

People with cancer and their families can face many distressing problems in consequence of cancer cachexia syndrome. It affects up to three-quarters of people with cancer and typically presents as weight loss, poor appetite and fatigue. There are no existing evidence based interventions to support the family management of these symptoms in cancer care. Supporting family-management might contribute to the relief of suffering, improve clinical outcomes of those with cancer and their carers, but also limit demands on services.

Project Overview

The long term aim of this Macmillan funded research programme is to address the study question ‘Can an intervention to support the family-management of cachexia related problems mitigate symptoms and improve quality of life for patients and their family members?’ The first stage of the programme is to develop an intervention to support family-management of cachexia related problems.

This study will include interviews with up to 20 patients with advanced cancer and their families living in the South of England. Components of the evolving intervention will be practised and evaluated during these interviews. The work will be informed by secondary analysis of an existing data set, literature review, and the opinion of a panel of experts. The experts will include nutritionalists, healthcare consumers and palliative care professionals (the study User Involvement Group).

Funder

Macmillan Cancer Support