Prof Joachim Cohen, Project Coordinator, explains how the DIAdIC project will test and evaluate a nurse-led person-to-person approach and online learning that aim to support people with advanced cancer and their family caregivers. With almost four million people in the European Union newly diagnosed with cancer every year, the impact of this new project could be enormous ….
DIAdIC (Dyadic Psychosocial Interventions for people with Advanced cancer and their Informal Caregivers) is a transdisciplinary, cross-national research project involving six European countries: Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Ireland, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The project will test and evaluate two types of support strategies for persons with advanced cancer and their family caregivers. An important characteristic of these support strategies is that they are aimed at the patient-caregiver dyad as a whole, instead of targeting the patient or the caregiver separately.
FOCUS+ utilises a nurse-led person-to-person approach. A specially trained nurse will have three extensive consultations with the patient-caregiver dyad, usually in the patient’s home, over the course of three months. iFOCUS provides the person with cancer and the family caregiver access to four online (web-based) sessions over a period of three months. The option of delivering a psycho-social intervention via a computer programme fits well in the era of telemedicine. The importance of providing support remotely has been highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ultimately, this type of intervention may even prove to be more cost-effective.
Both FOCUS+ and iFOCUS address the same five core components:
- Supporting Family involvement and improving mutual communication
- Supporting Outlook and meaning
- Increasing Coping effectiveness
- Reducing Uncertainty
- Teaching Symptom management and giving confidence to handle specific tasks and problems.
This work builds on the work of Professor Laurel Northouse and her team at the University of Michigan School of Nursing who developed the original FOCUS intervention. For FOCUS+ and iFOCUS a number of adaptations have been made to ensure that the interventions are more relevant to their context as part of this study.
The aim of the DIAdIC project is to evaluate whether the FOCUS+ and iFOCUS strategies increase the quality of life and self-efficacy of both the person with cancer and their family caregivers. It will also evaluate the cost-effectiveness of both approaches and the impact on the use of professional healthcare resources.
With this project, coordinated by Joachim Cohen, Peter Hudson and Aline De Vleminck, we hope to contribute to knowledge about how we can best support persons with cancer and their family caregivers. And, in the longer term, we hope to positively impact the quality of life of people with cancer and their family caregivers across Europe.
- Find out more about the DIAdIC project here.
- View the video here.
- Contact Professor Joachim Cohen by email.
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