Letters

Trials in palliative care

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6979.598c (Published 04 March 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:598
  1. Gerdy Rinck,
  2. Jos Kleijnen,
  3. Trudi G A M Van Den Bos,
  4. Hanneke J C J M De Haes,
  5. Egbert Schade,
  6. Cees H N Veenhof
  1. Junior clinical epidemiologist Clinical epidemiologist Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Academic Medical Centre, University Hospital of Amsterdam, PO Box 22700, 1100 DE Amsterdam, Netherlands
  2. Professor of social medicine and chronic diseases Institute of Social Medicine, Academic Medical Centre
  3. Associate professor of medical psychology Department of Medical Psychology, Academic Medical Centre
  4. Professor of family medicine Department of General/Family Medicine, Academic Medical Centre
  5. Associate professor of medical oncology Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Academic Medical Centre

    EDITOR,—In their discussion of the problems and pitfalls of evaluating a palliative care service McWhinney and colleagues mentioned three published trials in palliative care services.1 Apparently only trials with additional care services were selected, and trials on palliative treatment were excluded. In the field of additional care services we found one other trial.2 Many trials in palliative cancer care report problems with patient selection, accrual, attrition, contamination of exposure, and selection of adequate outcome measures. We also conducted a randomised trial on palliative care services, for patients with disseminated colorectal cancer. Our trial compared fluorouracil as single agent by continuous infusion at home versus combination therapy with leucovorin at an outpatient clinic. Main outcome measures were …

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