Comparison of implementation strategies to influence adherence to the clinical pathway for screening, assessment and management of anxiety and depression in adult cancer patients (ADAPT CP): Study protocol of a cluster randomised controlled trial

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
BMC Cancer, 2018, 18 (1)
Issue Date:
2018-11-07
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© 2018 The Author(s). Background: Health service change is difficult to achieve. One strategy to facilitate such change is the clinical pathway, a guide for clinicians containing a defined set of evidence-based interventions for a specific condition. However, optimal strategies for implementing clinical pathways are not well understood. Building on a strong evidence-base, the Psycho-Oncology Co-operative Research Group (PoCoG) in Australia developed an evidence and consensus-based clinical pathway for screening, assessing and managing cancer-related anxiety and depression (ADAPT CP) and web-based resources to support it - staff training, patient education, cognitive-behavioural therapy and a management system (ADAPT Portal). The ADAPT Portal manages patient screening and prompts staff to follow the recommendations of the ADAPT CP. This study compares the clinical and cost effectiveness of two implementation strategies (varying in resource intensiveness), designed to encourage adherence to the ADAPT CP over a 12-month period. Methods: This cluster randomised controlled trial will recruit 12 cancer service sites, stratified by size (large versus small), and randomised at site level to a standard (Core) versus supported (Enhanced) implementation strategy. After a 3-month period of site engagement, staff training and site tailoring of the ADAPT CP and Portal, each site will "Go-live", implementing the ADAPT CP for 12 months. During the implementation phase, all eligible patients will be introduced to the ADAPT CP as routine care. Patient participants will be registered on the ADAPT Portal to complete screening for anxiety and depression. Staff will be responsible for responding to prompts to follow the ADAPT CP. The primary outcome will be adherence to the ADAPT CP. Secondary outcomes include staff attitudes to and experiences of following the ADAPT CP, using the ADAPT Portal and being exposed to ADAPT implementation strategies, collected using quantitative and qualitative methods. Data will be collected at T0 (baseline, after site engagement), T1 (6 months post Go-live) and T2 (12 months post Go-live). Discussion: This will be the first cluster randomised trial to establish optimal levels of implementation effort and associated costs to achieve successful uptake of a clinical pathway within cancer care. Trial registration: The study was registered prospectively with the ANZCTR on 22/3/2017. Trial ID ACTRN12617000411347
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