Last year in the UK over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials aimed at improving cancer treatments and making them available to all.
A study looking at a new way of helping people with advanced cancer get the information they need (QPL pilot study)
We know that this is an especially worrying time for people with cancer and their family and friends. We have separate information about coronavirus and cancer. Please read that information alongside this page. We will update that information as guidance changes.
Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.
This study is looking at a ‘question prompt list’ to help patients and those caring for them to get the information they need from their specialist symptom control (
We know from research that one of the main needs of people with
We also know from research that people with advanced cancer, and their carers, wish to control the kind and amount of information they are given. But at the moment it is not clear how best to do this, or when, or how to encourage patients and carers to ask questions.
Experts in Australia have designed a ‘question prompt list’ or ‘QPL’ to help meet these needs. It gives patients and carers a list of topics and questions that they may want to raise with their doctor. The QPL also suggests wording to help people create the questions they need to ask.
Phase 1 of this study adapted this list to meet the needs of people in the UK. The aims of phase 2 are to test (pilot) this UK version with a small number of people, and see if the booklet helps patients or carers in the UK. They will also see whether this kind of testing would work with a larger number of people. From what they learn, the study team hope to design a full randomised controlled trial to test the UK QPL properly in the future.
Who can enter
You can enter this study if you are under the symptom control (
- You have any advanced cancer
- Your doctor has said that your cancer is getting worse
- You can speak and read English well enough to use the QPL, and take part in the research interviews
- You are at least 18 years old
This part of the study is a pilot of a phase 2 randomised controlled trial, and will recruit 30 people. It will look at how well the UK question prompt list works, and whether they need to change it. It will also see if this way of testing the UK QPL would work with a larger number of people.
Everyone taking part in the study will meet with a trained researcher who works closely with your palliative care team. The researcher will ask you a number of questions by reading out questionnaires. These will ask you about topics including anxiety, your experiences with the palliative care team and how much information you like to have. The meeting should last about an hour.
This part of the study is
If you are in group 1, you carry on seeing your palliative care team in the same way as if you were not taking part in the study.
If you are in group 2, you carry on seeing your palliative care team, but the researcher will also give you a booklet containing the Question Prompt List. You can keep this booklet to read and use when the team next visit you at home.
Everyone in both groups will have their next palliative care visit audio recorded, if you (and your carer if they are there) agree. This is to help the study team find out what people talk about when they have visits from the palliative care team, either at home or in the hospital. If you are in group 2, you can use your Question Prompt List booklet at this visit.
Everyone will then have 2 more visits from the researcher. They will ask you questions from some of the questionnaires again, although not as many as in the first visit. By seeing you several times, the researcher can try to understand how things may change over time.
If you are in group 2, during your second visit the researcher will ask what you thought of the QPL booklet and, with your permission, audio record your answers.
After you finish the study, you continue to see your palliative care team in the same way as you did before.
You will meet the researcher at a place convenient for you. This could be at home, or in a quiet room at the hospital. You will see the researcher 3 times, for interviews
- At the start of the study
- A day after you see the palliative care team at home
- A few weeks after this
If you meet the researcher away from home, the study team will pay your travel costs.
As there are no treatments in this study, there are no side effects. But you may find talking about your thoughts or experiences upsetting. If this happens you will be able to take a break, or stop the study if you wish. The study team will let your doctors know about how you feel if you are happy for them to do this.
How to join a clinical trial
Dr Richard Harding
Dimbleby Cancer Care
Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust
King's College London
Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust