Purpose

The Writing for Insight, Strength, and Ease (WISE) Study is a multisite Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) testing the efficacy of the Expressive Helping (EH) intervention among adults receiving hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Conditions

Eligibility

Eligible Ages
Over 18 Years
Eligible Genders
All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers
No

Inclusion Criteria

  • Cancer patients
  • Age ≥ 18
  • English proficient
  • Scheduled for allogeneic or autologous transplant at JTCC or LCCC.

Exclusion Criteria

  • Current participation in a behavioral intervention targeting symptoms or quality of life
  • Cognitive or psychiatric impairment precluding ability to complete informed consent or study procedures
  • Literacy limitations precluding completion of a writing study
  • Undergoing a tandem transplant where participant is now completing the first of two or more planned transplants

Study Design

Phase
Phase 3
Study Type
Interventional
Allocation
Randomized
Intervention Model
Parallel Assignment
Primary Purpose
Supportive Care
Masking
Single (Outcomes Assessor)

Arm Groups

ArmDescriptionAssigned Intervention
Experimental
Expressive Helping writing
Writing sessions 1-3: Participants complete one 20-minute expressive writing session at three time points: 1) after hospitalization but prior to transplant infusion, (2) approximately 3 days after hospital discharge, and (3) approximately 2 weeks after completion of writing session 2. Writing session 4: One 20-40 minute peer support writing session about 1 week after completion of writing session 3.
  • Behavioral: Expressive Helping
    Expressive Helping (EH) is completed in 4 brief structured writing sessions during and immediately after transplant, with instructions focused on having participants write about their transplant experience using previously-tested EH instructions, adapted for this population.
Active Comparator
Factual Writing
Writing sessions 1-3: Participants complete one 20-minute factual session at three time points: 1) after hospitalization but prior to transplant infusion, (2) approximately 3 days after hospital discharge, and (3) approximately 2 weeks after completion of writing session 2. Writing session 4: One 20-40 minute factual writing session about 1 week after completion of writing session 3.
  • Behavioral: Factual Writing
    Factual Writing has been used with cancer patients and in the investigators' prior EH trial. It is completed in 4 brief structured writing sessions during and immediately after transplant, with instructions focused on having participants write about their transplant experience using standard Factual Writing instructions.

Recruiting Locations

Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center
Washington, District of Columbia 20007
Contact:
Kristi Graves, PhD
202-687-1591
kristi.graves@georgetown.edu

More Details

Status
Recruiting
Sponsor
Northwestern University

Study Contact

Christine Rini, PhD
3125037715
christine.Rini@northwestern.edu

Detailed Description

Use of stem cell transplant (mostly for hematologic cancers) is expected to increase 5-fold by 2030, when the number of survivors will reach 500,000. This highly toxic treatment causes a range of acute physical and psychological symptoms, which then persist for years for up to 45% of patients. To address gaps in existing symptom-focused behavioral interventions that can be added to standard patient care, the investigators developed Expressive Helping (EH), a low-cost, low-burden intervention that targets a range of physical and psychological symptoms in a broad group of transplant recipients. EH is completed in 4 brief structured writing sessions during and immediately after transplant, with instructions focused on having participants write about their transplant experience. Based on promising preliminary data, the investigators propose to determine whether EH can be used during and immediately after transplant to reduce common acute physical and psychological symptoms and prevent development of persistent physical and psychological symptoms. Assessments of physical symptoms and psychological symptoms will occur at baseline (prior to randomization), "nadir" (Day 7 post-transplant), "engraftment" (Day 14 post-transplant), 1 week post-intervention, 3-months post-intervention (primary endpoint, early post-transplant), 6-months post-intervention, and 12-months post-intervention (primary endpoint, later post-transplant). The investigators will also assess a select set of potential mediators and moderators of intervention effects. Participants will be adult cancer patients scheduled for allogeneic or autologous stem cell transplant at the study sites. After screening and consent, eligible patients will be enrolled in a parallel-group, 1:1 randomized controlled trial. Randomization will be stratified by study site (JTCC and Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, LCCC); sex (linked with patient outcomes), age (18-59, ≥ 60), and transplant type (autologous, allogeneic). Staff performing assessments will be blind to study assignment. Participants cannot be blinded, but hypotheses will not be revealed to them until trial completion. They will be asked not to reveal their assignment to staff.

Notice

Study information shown on this site is derived from ClinicalTrials.gov (a public registry operated by the National Institutes of Health). The listing of studies provided is not certain to be all studies for which you might be eligible. Furthermore, study eligibility requirements can be difficult to understand and may change over time, so it is wise to speak with your medical care provider and individual research study teams when making decisions related to participation.