Can a community health worker ease the rigors of cancer treatment? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Community health workers were able to improve many aspects of cancer treatment for patients, a new study has shown. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, says benefits were multiple.

Nelson: It was 128 folks with cancer followed. They were randomized for usual care versus a six month intervention that was community health led. They saw a lower chance to need acute care, there was eight times more likely to have completed their advanced care planning, four times more likely to use formal palliative care, and twice as likely to engage in hospice care. Their mental and emotional health was somewhat better. Their ability to live their lives and not need to ping in and off the acute part of the health system was really the result.  :34

Nelson predicts that more hospitals and cancer treatment centers will employ community health workers to assist their patients as they undergo cancer treatment. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.