Finding My Way: Preliminary findings from a RCT evaluating an internet self-help program for cancer-related distress (#90)
Background: Online self-help holds promise for overcoming access barriers to conventional therapist-administered psychosocial interventions. Our group has previously reported on a single-site RCT of a web-based program for cancer patients which suggested immediate and enduring reductions in distress for intervention participants. This presentation reports on preliminary data from an ongoing national multi-site RCT of a 6-module internet Cognitive Behaviour Therapy-based support program (‘Finding My Way’), in reducing patient distress.
Methods: Cancer patients treated with curative intent (target n=188) are randomised to receive either (a) the 6-module Finding My Way intervention or (b) an internet attention-control. Outcome measures of distress (cancer-specific and general), coping, and health-related quality of life are administered at baseline, post-treatment, then 3- and 6-months later, with opportunities for feedback available after accessing each module.
Results: As of June 2014, out of 133 approached eligible patients, 59 (44%) had enrolled and 47 (35%) had declined, with the remainder still to complete enrolment. Most common reasons for declining participation included the patient coping well enough (19%) or not being interested (19%). Enrolled participants (mean age 53.75 years) were mainly women (92%) with breast cancer (78%), married (75%), and employed (61%), with various educational levels. Of the 40 participants who had received all modules, 45% had accessed all 6 with a further 25% accessing 5 out of 6 modules. Across modules, information was rated as at least somewhat helpful by 88-100% of intervention participants and 95-100% of attention controls, while worksheets were rated as at least somewhat helpful by 75-100% of intervention participants. Updated results will be presented and challenges of multi-site recruitment to an online intervention across cancer types will be discussed.
Conclusion: Preliminary data suggest satisfaction with the web-based content; however, interim data suggest uptake of the program is somewhat limited and polarised toward female participants.