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OPTCare Elderly trial opens for recruitment

We are pleased to announce that the OPTCare Elderly Feasibility Trial has opened for recruitment in Brighton & Hove and West Sussex and will be open until May 2015. The study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research- Research for Patient Benefit (NIHR RfPB). The OPTCare Elderly study is a joint project between King’s College London and Sussex Community NHS Trust and is led by Dr Catherine Evans.

The feasibility trial involves frail older people with non-malignant conditions who currently have limited access to specialist palliative care. The trial aims to extend specialist palliative care to this group, offering an extra layer of support for a short time at periods of deterioration. The Short-term Integrated Palliative and Supportive care (SIPS) service will involve up to three contacts with the specialist palliative care team. A total of 52 patients aged 75 and over will be randomised to receive either i) SIPS service alongside usual care or ii) usual care only and the SIPS service at the end of the study.

The primary outcome is the combination of five key palliative symptoms from the Integrated Palliative care Outcome Scale (IPOS) -pain, low mood, constipation, poor appetite and fatigue. We will also examine recipients’ experiences of the intervention using individual interviews with patients and carers and group discussions with service providers/commissioners on experiences of delivering the new service. We are interested in ascertaining the acceptability and feasibility of delivering specialist palliative care to frail elderly patients and the appropriate timing of referral.

For more information about the project or to contact the team please contact us.