Birgitta Johansson's projects in caring sciences in oncology

Internet based support (Carer eSupport) for informal caregivers of patients with head and neck cancer – a multicentre randomized controlled trial

Birgitta Johansson
Informal care is unpaid and provided by a dependent person’s partner, another family member or a friend, i.e. informal caregivers. Informal caregivers to people who undergoes treatment for head- and neck cancer commonly have to take a on a great responsibility for the homebased care, which they may not be prepared for. Informal caregivers have great unmet needs for support from healthcare professionals and are at risk for a decreasing health which may persist for several years.

The overall aim the project is to develop, test and evaluate the effect of internet-based support (Carer eSupport) for informal caregivers (IC s) to patients head and neck cancer (HNC ) on preparedness for caregiving, caregiver burden and self-perceived health, compared to standard care, within a randomized controlled trial.

The project is supported by a grant from the Swedish Research Council 2020-2022 and is a multidisciplinary collaboration with Maria Carlsson, Dept. of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Ylva Tiblom Ehrsson and Göran Laurell, Dept. of Surgical Sciences, Åsa Cajander, Dept of Information Technology, and Sven Alfonsson and Louise von Essen, Dept. of Women's and Children's Health.

Internet based screening and stepped care for adult cancer patients with anxiety or depression symptoms

Birgitta Johansson, Peter Nygren
The research programme U-CARE is an interdisciplinary project in the field of psychosocial care in connection with somatic disease. We are heading the subproject within adult oncology care, which aims to evaluate the effects of internet based stepped care (iCAN-DO) on anxiety, depression and health related quality of life in cancer patients compared to standard care.

The recruitment and data collection have been completed and we are currently evaluating the effects of iCAN-DO. Results recently presented on an awarded poster at ESMO conference in Barcelona 2019 suggest that iCAN-DO may decrease depression symptoms compared to standard care. Participants who have had access to iCAN-DO experience iCAN-DO as a useful and reliable source of information and support, constituting a complement to standard care, according to results from an interview study. Results from the interviews also suggest that iCAN-DO may be improved by providing more individualized information and support.

The effects of physical exercise during cancer therapy

Birgitta Johansson, Peter Nygren
In the project Phys-Can, headed by Karin Nordin at the Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, we are evaluating the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of individually tailored high and low-moderate intensity physical exercise. It is a multi-centre randomized controlled trial (RCT) including newly diagnosed breast, colorectal and prostate cancer patients during adjuvant therapy in the university hospitals in Uppsala, Lund and Linköping.

The main aim is to evaluate the effects of high or low-moderate intensity exercise in combination with behavioural medicine strategies (BM) or without BM on cancer related fatigue. In a sub-study we also study the effects of physical exercise on skeletal muscles during chemotherapy for breast cancer. A hypothesis is that exercise may prevent the negative effects of chemotherapy on skeletal muscles. Women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer are randomised to a physical exercise intervention or a control group. All participants undergo muscle biopsies before and after treatment.

The recruitment of 600 patients to the RCT is completed and we are currently analysing the effects of the exercise programs.

Last modified: 2021-10-25