This study was undertaken to determine the effect of home healthcare on the quality of life (QOL) in patients diagnosed with gastrointestinal cancer. A total of 42 patients, who met eligibility criteria, were enrolled in the study and randomly assigned to either a control group or an experimental group. Control group patients received “usual care” defined as pain control and management through the pain clinic. Experimental group patients received pain control through the clinic plus three home visits. During the home visits, their nursing care was guided by an evidence-based protocol developed by the research team. Data were collected on pain, performance, symptoms, and QOL by using previously developed and validated instruments.
Significant differences were found between the two groups on physiological function, psychological concerns, and total stress. In the experimental group, there was a significant decrease in pain and increase in performance from baseline to the final data collection period. For the control group, a significant decrease in QOL over the study period was observed. There were no significant differences between the two groups on pain, performance, QOL, and QOL subscales at the final visit.