AimTo evaluate a psychoeducational intervention for patients with advanced cancer who have cachexia and their lay carers.BackgroundCachexia is a frequent and devastating syndrome of advanced cancer. It has an impact on patients biologically, psychologically and socially and has profound impact on their lay carers. Prior research has predominately focused on the biological components of cachexia and associated potential treatment modalities. At present, there is no standardized supportive healthcare intervention in current practice that targets the psychosocial impact of this syndrome.DesignA pragmatic multicentre randomized controlled trial.MethodsPatient/carer dyads (n = 200) will be recruited into a randomized controlled trial of a DVD intervention for cachexia management. The sample will be recruited from two urban hospices in the UK. The primary outcome measure will be the General Health Questionnaire-12. Additional questionnaires focusing on distress, readiness to give care and coping skills will be used as secondary outcome measures. In addition, lay carers in the intervention group will be asked to participate in semi-structured interviews following the death of their loved one. Both Office for Research Ethics Committee approval and local governance approval at both hospices have been obtained as of February 2013.DiscussionThis is the first time that a psychoeducational DVD has been tested in a randomized controlled trial in this population. Dissemination of findings will make a significant contribution to international knowledge and understanding in this area. Findings will inform education, practice and policy.
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