Aim: The aim of the present study was to test a predetermined model of best practice for rural patients with cancer undergoing chemotherapy treatment by assessing patient satisfaction and patient outcomes. Methods: The study design was a pseudo-randomised controlled trial, comparing a predetermined best practice protocol with usual service delivery, as provided by the local hospital. Patient outcomes were measured using the Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment (PG-SGA), Modified Constipation Assessment Scale (MCAS) and Global Quality of Life questionnaire C30 (QLQ-C30). Patient satisfaction and feedback were also assessed. Results: Twenty-four cancer patients receiving chemotherapy treatment in a rural oncology treatment centre were recruited to the study, with complete data sets for 12 participants. The median age of participants was 60 years (range 41–74), with equal numbers of male and female participants. No statistically significant results were found for any of the outcome variables. More than half of all the service delivery provided to the intervention group was outside the designated clinic times, with services provided most days of the week. The preferred method of review for respondents was by telephone or in person at the time of treatment. Conclusions: This pilot study indicates the need to further investigate this best practice dietetic service model to determine if patient outcomes are significant. Patient feedback indicates that a rural dietetic service to oncology patients needs to be well organised with a screening process and provided in a timely and flexible way.
Nutrition and Dietetics Vol. 65, Issue 2, p. 175-180