Many cancer patients suffer from multiple symptoms including undetected, undertreated cancer-related pain and depression. Phone counseling can be helpful in managing these symptoms as well as nonitoring, according to a study published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Over 12 months, patients in the phone-counseling group saw greater improvement in their symptoms than people in the usual care group, regardless of whether they were suffering from pain or depression. Improvements were also seen across the board in patients with all types of cancers and in both rural and urban communities.
The authors conclude that counselling over the phone coupled with automated symptom monitoring resulted in improved pain and depression outcomes in cancer patients receiving care in geographically dispersed urban and rural oncology practices.