Development of virtual intervention for patients with lung cancer.

From MedPage Today


Virtual intervention for patients with lung cancer transitioning to surveillance after curative treatment is the subject of this abstract.

Patients with lung cancer who are treated with curative intent are rarely included in quality-of-life (QOL) intervention research in cancer, and the transition from treatment to surveillance is an understudied phase in lung cancer. Given the high risk of recurrence in this population, we aimed to (1) characterize the QOL challenges of patients with lung cancer who complete curative treatment; and (2) develop and refine an intervention to support patients during their transition to surveillance.

Methods to Determine Virtual Intervention for Patients With Lung Cancer

We first conducted semi-structured interviews to explore the QOL challenges of patients in transition from lung cancer treatment to surveillance (n = 12). Interviews were transcribed, coded, and analyzed using a thematic analysis approach. Results were used to develop the content, timing, and delivery of a cognitive behavioral intervention to enhance patient QOL during the transition to surveillance. We conducted an open pilot with patients within 3 weeks of completing lung cancer treatment (systemic therapy +/- radiation) to test and refine the intervention (n = 5). Mixed methods data were collected to evaluate intervention feasibility, acceptability, and areas for refinement. All study procedures were conducted at an academic medical center in the New England region.


Qualitative study results indicated that during the transition to surveillance, patients with lung cancer (six female, six male; age range: 26-76) faced unexpected challenges in coping with residual symptoms (e.g., dyspnea, fatigue), uncertainty about future health, and changes in close relationships. Results were used to develop a five-session intervention to address patient challenges with a coping skills framework that balanced acceptance-and change-oriented approaches. Study clinicians delivered intervention sessions remotely (video or telephone). Of six patients approached, five enrolled in the pilot (all female; age range: 62-73; one declined due to time commitment). Pilot patient feedback indicated that the intervention timing and content targeted patients’ current needs and concerns. Patients valued the opportunity to normalize and address current challenges and to cope with difficult emotions. Results suggested further refinements to the timing for patient recruitment and the order of session content to enhance skills uptake.


Patients who are treated for lung cancer with curative intent may face unexpected QOL challenges related to residual symptoms, health uncertainty, and changes in close relationships during the transition to surveillance. Results enhance our understanding of lung cancer survivorship and provide a framework for addressing QOL challenges in this population. Remote delivery of this manualized intervention supports scalability for survivors of cancers with high risk of recurrence. This model will be tested further in a larger scale efficacy trial. Clinical trial information: 04450043.

Read an interview about the study here.

Read the full article on Virtual Intervention for Patients With Lung Cancer

Development of a Virtual Intervention for Patients With Lung Cancer Transitioning to Surveillance After Curative Treatment