Patient ambassador support in newly diagnosed patients with acute leukemia during treatment: a feasibility study

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Purpose
This study investigated the feasibility of patient ambassador support in newly diagnosed patients with acute leukemia during treatment.

Methods
A multicenter single-arm feasibility study that included patients newly diagnosed with acute leukemia (n = 36) and patient ambassadors previously treated for acute leukemia (n = 25). Prior to the intervention, all patient ambassadors attended a 6-h group training program. In the intervention, patient ambassadors provided 12 weeks of support for patients within 2 weeks of being diagnosed. Outcome measures included feasibility (primary outcome), safety, anxiety, and depression measured by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, quality of life by the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy–Leukemia and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire, and symptom burden by MD Anderson Symptom Inventory, the Patient Activation Measure, and the General Self-Efficacy Scale.

Results
Patient ambassador support was feasible and safe in this population. Patients and patient ambassadors reported high satisfaction with the individually adjusted support, and patients improved in psychosocial outcomes over time. Patient ambassadors maintained their psychosocial baseline level, with no adverse events, and used the available support to exchange experiences with other patient ambassadors and to manage challenges.

Conclusion
The patient ambassador support program is feasible and has the potential to be a new model of care incorporated in the hematology clinical care setting, creating an active partnership between patients and former patients. This may strengthen the existing supportive care services for patients with acute leukemia.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Volume29
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)3077 - 3089
ISSN0941-4355
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Research areas

  • Peer support, Patient ambassador, Acute leukemia, Supportive care, Feasibility, Psychosocial

ID: 250603945