Participation in a randomised controlled feasibility study of a complex intervention for the management of the Respiratory Symptom Distress Cluster in lung cancer: patient, carer and research staff views

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This paper reports finding from a nested qualitative study designed to elicit the views and perceptions of those who participated in a randomised controlled feasibility trial testing a non-pharmacological intervention, Respiratory Distress Symptom Intervention (RDSI), for the management of the breathlessness-cough-fatigue symptom cluster in lung cancer. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 lung cancer patients, three caregivers and seven researchers involved in recruitment, consent, RDSI training and delivery and participant follow-up. Thematic analysis identified key considerations including: the importance of informed consent emphasising commitment to completion of paperwork and raising awareness of potential sensitivities relating to content of questionnaires; ensuring screening for the presence of symptoms reflects the language used by patients; appreciation of the commitment required from participants to learn intervention techniques and embed them as part of everyday life; conduct of interviews with patients who decline to participate; and conduct of serial interviews with those receiving RDSI to further inform its routine implementation into clinical practice. This study will inform the development of a fully powered follow-on trial testing the hypothesis that RDSI plus usual care is superior to usual care alone in the effective management of this symptom cluster in lung cancer.

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