Evaluating Integrative Cancer Clinics With the Claim Assessment Profile

An Example With the InspireHealth Clinic

Published in: Integrative Cancer Therapies, Volume 17, Issue 1 (March 2018), Pages 106 - 114. doi: 10.1177/1534735416684017

Posted on RAND.org on April 13, 2018

by Lara Hilton, Pamela D. Elfenbaum, Shamini Jain, Meredith Sprengel, Wayne B. Jonas

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Background

The evaluation of freestanding integrative cancer clinical programs is challenging and is rarely done. We have developed an approach called the Claim Assessment Profile (CAP) to identify whether evaluation of a practice is justified, feasible, and likely to provide useful information.

Objectives

A CAP was performed in order to (1) clarify the healing claims at InspireHealth, an integrative oncology treatment program, by defining the most important impacts on its clients; (2) gather information about current research capacity at the clinic; and (3) create a program theory and path model for use in prospective research.

Study Design/Methods

This case study design incorporates methods from a variety of rapid assessment approaches. Procedures included site visits to observe the program, structured qualitative interviews with 26 providers and staff, surveys to capture descriptive data about the program, and observational data on program implementation.

Results

The InspireHealth program is a well-established, multi-site, thriving integrative oncology clinical practice that focuses on patient support, motivation, and health behavior engagement. It delivers patient-centered care via a standardized treatment protocol. There arehigh levels of research interest from staff and resources by which to conduct research.

Conclusions

This analysis provides the primary descriptive and claims clarification of an integrative oncology treatment program, an evaluation readiness report, a detailed logic model explicating program theory, and a clinical outcomes path model for conducting prospective research. Prospective evaluation of this program would be feasible and valuable, adding to our knowledge base of integrative cancer therapies.

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