Evaluation of the telehealth making sense of brain tumor psychological support intervention for people with primary brain tumor and their caregivers: A randomized controlled trial

Tamara Ownsworth (Corresponding Author), Suzanne Chambers, Stephanie Jones, Giverny Parker, Joanne F. Aitken, Matthew Foote, Louisa G. Gordon, David H.K. Shum, Julia Robertson, Elizabeth Conlon, Mark B. Pinkham

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: This pragmatic randomized control trial aimed to evaluate clinical efficacy of the Making Sense of Brain Tumour program delivered via videoconferencing (Tele-MAST) for improving mental health and quality of life (QoL) relative to standard care in individuals with primary brain tumor (PBT). Method: Adults with PBT experiencing at least mild distress (Distress Thermometer ≥4) and caregivers were randomly allocated to the 10-session Tele-MAST program or standard care. Mental health and QoL were assessed pre-intervention, post-intervention (primary endpoint), and 6-weeks and 6-months follow-up. The primary outcome was clinician-rated depressive symptoms on the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale. Results: 82 participants with PBT (34% benign, 20% lower-grade glioma, 46% high-grade glioma) and 36 caregivers were recruited (2018–2021). Controlling for baseline functioning, Tele-MAST participants with PBT had lower depressive symptoms at post-intervention (95% CI: 10.2–14.6, vs. 15.2–19.6, p = 0.002) and 6-weeks post-intervention (95% CI: 11.5–15.8 vs. 15.6–19.9, p = 0.010) than standard care, and were almost 4 times more likely to experience clinically reduced depression (OR, 3.89; 95% CI: 1.5–9.9). Tele-MAST participants with PBT also reported significantly better global QoL, emotional QoL and lower anxiety at post-intervention and 6-weeks post-intervention than standard care. There were no significant intervention effects for caregivers. At 6-months follow-up participants with PBT who received Tele-MAST reported significantly better mental health and QoL relative to pre-intervention. Conclusions: Tele-MAST was found to be more effective for reducing depressive symptoms at post-intervention than standard care for people with PBT but not caregivers. Tailored and extended psychological support may be beneficial for people with PBT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1385-1394
Number of pages10
JournalPsycho-Oncology
Volume32
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

Keywords

  • caregivers
  • intervention
  • primary brain tumor
  • psychological support
  • randomized controlled trial
  • telehealth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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