Extended Support Within A Person-Centered Practice After Surgery For Patients With Pituitary Tumors: Protocol For A Quasiexperimental Study (Preprint)
Patients with pituitary tumors often live with lifelong consequences of their disease. Treatment options include surgery, radiotherapy, and medical therapy. Symptoms associated with the tumor or its treatment affect several areas of life. Patients need to adhere to long-term contact with both specialist and general health care providers due to the disease, complex treatments, and associated morbidity. The first year after pituitary surgery constitutes an important time period, with medical evaluations after surgery and decisions on hormonal substitution. The development and evaluation of extended patient support during this time are limited.
The aim of this study is to evaluate whether support within a person-centered care practice increases wellbeing for patients with pituitary tumors. Our main hypothesis is that the extended support will result in increased psychological wellbeing compared with the support given within standard of care. Secondary objectives are to evaluate whether the extended support, compared with standard care, will result in (1) better health status, (2) less fatigue, (3) higher satisfaction with care, (4) higher self-efficacy, (5) increased person-centered content in care documentation, and (6) sustained patient safety.
Within a quasiexperimental design, patients diagnosed with a pituitary tumor planned for neurosurgery are consecutively included in a pretest-posttest study performed at a specialist endocrine clinic. The control group receives standard of care after surgery, and the interventional group receives structured patient support for 1 year after surgery based on person-centeredness covering self-management support, accessibility, and continuity. A total of 90 patients are targeted for each group.
Recruitment into the control group was performed between Q3 2015 and Q4 2017. Recruitment into the intervention group started in Q4 2017 and is ongoing until Q4 2020. The study is conducted according to the Declaration of Helsinki, and the protocol has received approval from a regional ethical review board.
This study entails an extensive intervention constructed in collaboration between clinicians, patients, and researchers that acknowledges accessibility, continuity, and self-management support within person-centeredness. The study has the potential to compare standard care to person-centered practice adapted specifically for patients with pituitary tumors and evaluated with a combination of patient-reported outcomes and patient-reported experience measures. Following the results, the person-centered practice may also become a useful model to further develop and explore person-centered care for patients with other rare, lifelong conditions.