Self-expandable metallic stent (SEMS) is a preferred option to relieve dysphagia and to palliate patients with incurable esophageal or gastro-esophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Health Related Quality of Life (QoL) represents a clinically relevant outcome measure in research focused on palliation of patients with advanced GI cancer. In this context, home visits by a nurse carry the potential to offer important advantages. Eighty patients with incurable esophageal or GEJ cancer were randomized to either standard follow up or to an intervention containing regular home visits by a nurse. The primary outcome variable QoL was assessed by EORTC QLQ-C30 and OES-18 before insertion of SEMS, and at 2, 7 and 12 weeks thereafter. Secondary outcomes were; need for re-interventions, number of patients receiving palliative oncological therapy and overall survival. Sixty-six males and 13 females, with a median age of 71, were included. Self-reported overall QoL was significantly higher in the intervention group (P = 0.03). The organ specific module OES-18 revealed a significant reduction in dysphagia by the intervention (P = 0.03) as well as fewer eating disabilities (P = 0.04). No differences were observed in secondary outcomes except for overall survival, where the median survival was increased from 114 to 183 days by the active intervention (P = 0.02). Home visits by a nurse seem to play an important palliative role after placement of SEMS in patients with incurable esophageal or GEJ cancer by improving QoL and may carry the potential to increase overall survival.
- Esophageal cancers
- Esophageal stents
- Health related quality of life
- Palliative care