FRIDAY, Dec. 18, 2020 (HealthDay News) — For patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) receiving intensive chemotherapy, there are substantial improvements in quality of life (QOL) and psychological distress with integrated palliative and oncology care (IPC), according to a study published online Dec. 17 in JAMA Oncology.

Areej El-Jawahri, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined the effect of IPC on patient-reported and end-of-life (EOL) outcomes among patients with AML in a multisite randomized trial. Eighty-six patients undergoing intensive chemotherapy were randomly assigned to IPC, while 74 patients were assigned to usual care (UC).

The researchers found that IPC participants reported better QOL compared with those receiving UC (adjusted mean score, 107.59 versus 116.45) and reported lower depression (adjusted mean score, 7.20 versus 5.68), anxiety (adjusted mean score, 5.94 versus 4.53), and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms (adjusted mean score, 31.69 versus 27.79) at week 2. For QOL, depression, anxiety, and PTSD symptoms, the intervention effects were sustained to week 24. Among patients who died, the likelihood of reporting discussing EOL preferences was increased for those receiving IPC versus UC (75.0 versus 40.0 percent), and they were less likely to receive chemotherapy near EOL (34.9 versus 65.9 percent).

“Early palliative care at the time of diagnosis for patients with AML should become standard of care to improve the QOL and care for this population,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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