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Clinical Trial Summary

People treated for breast cancer often live with an ongoing fear that the cancer will recur. This fear may develop and impact on their mental health and quality of life. The Mini-AFTERc study is a pilot trial of a brief cognitive behavioural communication intervention, designed to reduce fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) in breast cancer patients. This pilot trial aims to determine the acceptability and practicality of introducing the Mini-AFTERc intervention into everyday practice, and inform the development of a full randomised controlled trial.


Clinical Trial Description

The objectives of this pilot trial are as follows:

1. To develop a procedure for training breast cancer nurses (BCN) in the delivery of the Mini-AFTERc intervention and introduce the intervention into current NHS service provision for breast cancer patients.

2. To collect data to pilot and test recruitment (of breast cancer nurses and breast cancer patients), the fidelity of intervention elements, the acceptability to participants (primary and secondary outcomes) and detailed economic indicators for a full trial.

3. Apply a formal decision making framework (ADePT) to determine a profile of factors to reveal potential difficulties and appraise solutions prior to a full trial.

This study is a multicentre controlled pilot trial of the Mini-AFTERc intervention and will take place in 4 breast cancer centres in NHS Scotland health boards, including Fife, Highlands, Lothian and Tayside. Two centres will deliver the intervention (Fife and Lothian) and 2 centres will deliver usual care to patients, acting as control centres (Highlands and Tayside). The project will be delivered in 3 phases:

Phase 1 will include the development and delivery of the Mini-AFTERc intervention training package for breast cancer nurses.

Phase 2 will include patient recruitment and data collection. There will be 2 intervention centres and 2 control centres across NHS Scotland. Patients who have completed their primary breast cancer treatment, will be screened for moderate FCR (scoring ≥10 and <15 on the Fear of Cancer Recurrence 4-item Scale; FCR4). Breast cancer nurses will deliver the intervention by telephone in intervention centres, which will be audio recorded. Patients will complete a satisfaction questionnaire after the intervention (CARE and MISS). Follow-up questionnaires measuring fear of cancer recurrence, anxiety and depression and quality of life outcomes (FCR4, HADS, EQ-5D) will be delivered via a smartphone app at 2 weeks, 1 month and 3 months following intervention or 3 weeks, 5 weeks and 13 weeks following screening for the control group. Semi-structured interviews with 20% of patients and all nurses will be conducted to assess experiences and acceptability of the intervention.

Phase 3 will conduct data analysis and trial evaluation. Screening and follow-up data will be quantitatively analysed, including structured equation modelling. Interviews will be subject to framework analysis based on normalisation process theory (NPT). The pilot trial will be systematically evaluated using a process of decision making after pilot and feasibility trials (ADePT).

The findings will help to understand if this brief intervention can be implemented in everyday practice and can reduce FCR. They will also inform the practicality of implementation of a larger-scale randomised trial. ;


Study Design


Related Conditions & MeSH terms


NCT number NCT03763825
Study type Interventional
Source University of St Andrews
Contact Gerry M Humphris, PhD
Phone +44 (0) 1334463565
Email gmh4@st-andrews.ac.uk
Status Not yet recruiting
Phase N/A
Start date January 1, 2019
Completion date September 1, 2020

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