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Journal Description

JMIR Cancer (JC) is a Pubmed- and ESCI-indexed, peer-reviewed journal with a focus on education, innovation and technology in cancer care, cancer survivorship and cancer research, as well as in participatory and patient-centred approaches. A sister journal of the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR), a leading eHealth journal (Impact Factor 2017: 4.671), the scope of JC is broader and includes non-Internet approaches to improve cancer care and cancer research.

We invite submission of original research, viewpoints, reviews, tutorials, case studies, and non-conventional articles (e.g. open patient education material and software resources that are not yet evaluated but free for others to use/implement). 

In our "Patients' Corner", we invite patients and survivors to submit short essays and viewpoints on all aspects of cancer, but in particular suggestions on how to improve the health care system, and suggestions for new technologies, applications and approaches (no article processing fees).

JC is open access and all articles are published under a Creative Commons Attribution license. JC has been accepted for indexing in PubMed Central and Pubmed and Emerging Sources Citation Index (Clarivate).

 

Recent Articles:

  • Source: Freepik; Copyright: Freepik; URL: https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/senior-businessman-looking-woman-working-laptop_3346285.htm; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Analyzing Empowerment Processes Among Cancer Patients in an Online Community: A Text Mining Approach

    Abstract:

    Background: Peer-to-peer online support groups and the discussion forums in these groups can help patients by providing opportunities for increasing their empowerment. Most previous research on online empowerment and online social support uses qualitative methods or questionnaires to gain insight into the dynamics of online empowerment processes. Objective: The overall goal of this study was to analyze the presence of the empowerment processes in the online peer-to-peer communication of people affected by cancer, using text mining techniques. Use of these relatively new methods enables us to study social processes such as empowerment on a large scale and with unsolicited data. Methods: The sample consisted of 5534 messages in 1708 threads, written by 2071 users of a forum for cancer patients and their relatives. We labeled the posts in our sample with 2 types of labels: labels referring to empowerment processes and labels denoting psychological processes. The latter were identified using the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) method. Both groups of labels were automatically assigned to posts. Automatic labeling of the empowerment processes was done by text classifiers trained on a manually labeled subsample. For the automatic labeling of the LIWC categories, we used the Dutch version of the LIWC consisting of a total of 66 word categories that are assigned to text based on occurrences of words in the text. After the automatic labeling with both types of labels, we investigated (1) the relationship between empowerment processes and the intensity of online participation, (2) the relationship between empowerment processes and the LIWC categories, and (3) the differences between patients with different types of cancer. Results: The precision of the automatic labeling was 85.6%, which we considered to be sufficient for automatically labeling the complete corpus and doing further analyses on the labeled data. Overall, 62.94% (3482/5532) of the messages contained a narrative, 23.83% (1318/5532) a question, and 27.49% (1521/5532) informational support. Emotional support and references to external sources were less frequent. Users with more posts more often referred to an external source and more often provided informational support and emotional support (Kendall τ>0.2; P<.001) and less often shared narratives (Kendall τ=−0.297; P<.001). A number of LIWC categories are significant predictors for the empowerment processes: words expressing assent (ok and yes) and emotional processes (expressions of feelings) are significant positive predictors for emotional support (P=.002). The differences between patients with different types of cancer are small. Conclusions: Empowerment processes are associated with the intensity of online use. The relationship between linguistic analyses and empowerment processes indicates that empowerment processes can be identified from the occurrences of specific linguistic cues denoting psychological processes.

  • Woman typing on laptop. Source: Pexels; Copyright: rawpixel.com; URL: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-woman-typing-on-laptop-1451451/; License: Creative Commons Attribution + NoDerivatives (CC-BY-ND).

    A Thematic Analysis of Attitudes Toward Changes to Cervical Screening in Australia

    Abstract:

    Background: In December 2017, the Australian National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP) was changed to encompass a 5-yearly human papillomavirus (HPV) primary test for women aged 25 to 74 years. Public concerns about changes to screening programs has been demonstrated in other countries previously. Objective: The aim of the study was to explore in depth women’s understanding of and concerns about the specific changes to the Australian NCSP implemented in December 2017. Methods: A Web-based petition (Change.org) opposing the changes received over 70,000 signatures and nearly 20,000 comments from February to March 2017. Of 19,633 comments, a random sample of 10% (2000/19,633) were analyzed using content analysis (reported elsewhere). Comments relating directly to the specific changes to the program were further analyzed using qualitative thematic analysis. Results: Around one-third (34.55%; 691/2000) of the total comments were related to concerns about specific changes to the program. The greatest concern was that screening intervals would be too long and that cancer may not be detected in time for successful treatment. Missing cancer in younger women (aged <25 years) was also an important concern, perceiving younger women to remain at significant risk. Notably, concern was rarely expressed about the new test (the HPV test). Conclusions: Gaps in knowledge and understanding about changes to the program and the rationale behind these have caused health concerns among women. Worry about the extended screening interval indicates little understanding of the slow progression of the HPV infection to cervical cancer or the high rates of regression. Identification of these knowledge gaps can inform both deintensification of other cancer screening programs and practitioners, so that they are able to address these concerns with their patients.

  • Source: Max Pixel; Copyright: Max Pixel; URL: https://www.maxpixel.net/Computer-Writing-Typing-Keyboard-2349465; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    Investigation of Radiation Oncologists’ Awareness of Online Reputation Management

    Abstract:

    Background: Online reputation management (ORM) is an emerging practice strategy that emphasizes the systematic and proactive monitoring of online reviews relating to one’s professional reputation. Objective: We developed this survey project to assess whether radiation oncologists are aware of ORM and how it is utilized in their practices. We hypothesized that ORM is largely unknown by most practicing radiation oncologists and that little time is spent actively managing their reputations. Methods: An online survey was submitted to 1222 radiation oncologists using the Qualtrics research platform. Physician emails were gathered from the American Society for Radiation Oncology member directory. A total of 85 physicians initiated the survey, whereas 76 physicians completed more than or equal to 94% (15/16) of the survey questions and were subsequently used in our analyses. The survey consisted of 15 questions querying practice demographics, patient satisfaction determination, ORM understanding, and activities to address ORM and 1 question for physicians to opt-in to a US $50 Amazon gift card raffle. The survey data were summarized using a frequency table, and data were analyzed using the Chi-square test, Fisher exact test, and Spearman correlation coefficients. Results: We calculated a 7% (85/1222) response rate for our survey, with a completion rate of 89% (76/85). A majority of respondents (97%, 74/76) endorsed being somewhat or strongly concerned about patient satisfaction (P<.001). However, 58% (44/76) of respondents reported spending 0 hours per week reviewing or managing their online reputation and 39% (30/76) reported spending less than 1 hour per week (P<.001). A majority of physicians (58%, 44/76) endorsed no familiarity with ORM (P<.001) and 70% (53/76) did not actively manage their online reputation (P<.001). Although 83% (63/76) of respondents strongly or somewhat believed that patients read online reviews (P<.001), 57% (43/76) of respondents did not check their online reviews (P=.25) and 80% (61/76) endorsed never responding to online reviews (P<.001). Moreover, 58% (44/76) of the respondents strongly or somewhat supported the idea of managing their online reputation going forward (P=.001). In addition, 11 out of the 28 pairs of questions asked in our correlation studies reached statistical significance. Degree of concern for patient satisfaction and the notion of managing one’s ORM going forward were the 2 most frequently correlated topics of statistical significance in our analyses. Conclusions: ORM is presently under-recognized in radiation oncology. Although most practitioners are concerned about patient satisfaction, little effort is directed toward the internet on this matter. ORM offers an area of practice improvement for many practicing radiation oncologists.

  • Source: Freepik; Copyright: yanalya; URL: https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/woman-upset-because-bad-news-e-mail-letter_3938041.htm; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Usability, Acceptability, and Usefulness of an mHealth App for Diagnosing and Monitoring Patients With Breakthrough Cancer Pain

    Abstract:

    Background: Breakthrough pain is a major problem and a source of distress in patients with cancer. We hypothesized that health care professionals may benefit from a real-time mobile app to assist in the diagnosis and monitoring of breakthrough cancer pain (BTcP). Objective: This study aimed to test the usability, acceptability, and usefulness in real-world practice of the mobile App INES·DIO developed for the management of patients with BTcP. Methods: This study consisted of a survey of a multidisciplinary sample of 175 physicians who evaluated the mobile app after testing it with 4 patients with BTcP each (for a total of 700 patients). The digital profile of the physicians, use of the different resources contained in the app, usefulness of the resources, acceptability, usability, potential improvements, intention to use, and additional resources to add were recorded. Results: Of the 175 physicians, 96% (168/175) were working in public hospitals. They had an average of 12 (SD 7) years of experience in BTcP and almost all (174/175, 99.43%) had an active digital profile. The Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group and Karnofsky performance scales, the Visual Analogue Scale, and the Davies algorithm to diagnose BTcP were the most frequently used tools with patients and were assessed as very useful by more than 80% (140/175) of physicians. The majority (157/175, 90%) answered that App INES·DIO was well designed and 94% (165/175) would probably or very probably recommend it to other colleagues. More than two-thirds indicated that the report provided by the app was worth being included in patients’ clinical records. The most valued resource in the app was the recording of the number, duration, and intensity of pain flares each day and baseline pain control to enhance diagnosis of BTcP. Additional patient-oriented cancer pain educational content was suggested for inclusion in future versions of App INES·DIO. Conclusions: Our study showed that App INES·DIO is easy to use and useful for physicians to help diagnose and monitor breakthrough pain in patients with cancer. Participants suggested the implementation of additional educational content about breakthrough pain. They agreed on the importance of adding new clinical guidelines/protocols for the management of BTcP, improving their communication skills with patients, and introducing an evidence-based video platform that gathers new educational material on BTcP.

  • Source: Image created by Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL: http://cancer.jmir.org/2019/1/e10883/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Exploring the Experiences of Cancer Patients With Chemotherapy-Induced Ototoxicity: Qualitative Study Using Online Health Care Forums

    Abstract:

    Background: Many cancer patients and survivors experience permanent and life-debilitating effects, such as ototoxicity, from treatment. Ototoxicity manifests as high-frequency hearing loss and tinnitus, which can have a detrimental effect on the quality of life (QoL) of those affected. Currently, there is little information and support offered to these patients who experience ototoxicity, potentially leading to many being undiagnosed and untreated. Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the extent of ototoxic side effects, such as hearing loss and tinnitus, and their impact on cancer patients following chemotherapy treatment. Secondary objectives included detecting the time periods of onset and duration of the ototoxicity and identifying what support was available to this population. Methods: Posts from publicly available online forums were thematically analyzed using the guidelines by Braun and Clarke. A coding manual was iteratively developed to create a framework for the analysis of the ototoxicity experience among the cancer population. Results: A total of 9 relevant online forums were identified, consisting of 86 threads and 570 posts from 377 members. Following the bottom-up thematic analysis, 6 major themes were identified: nature of ototoxicity, time of experienced ototoxicity, information on ototoxicity, quality of life, therapies, and online social support. Conclusions: There was a significant number of reports expressing concerns about the lack of information on the risk of ototoxicity. More support for those suffering is needed; for example, improved interdepartmental communication between oncology and audiology services could optimize patient care. Patients should also be encouraged to communicate with their health care professionals about their ototoxicity and relay how their QoL is impacted by ototoxicity when accessing support. Tinnitus was the most common concern and was associated with distress. Hearing loss was less common; however, it was associated with fear and employment issues. Those who reported preexisting conditions were fearful about worsening their condition as their QoL was already impacted.

  • ASyMS. Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL: http://cancer.jmir.org/2019/1/e10813/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Adaptation and Implementation of a Mobile Phone–Based Remote Symptom Monitoring System for People With Cancer in Europe

    Abstract:

    Background: There has been an international shift in health care, which has seen an increasing focus and development of technological and personalized at-home interventions that aim to improve health outcomes and patient-clinician communication. However, there is a notable lack of empirical evidence describing the preparatory steps of adapting and implementing technology of this kind across multiple countries and clinical settings. Objective: This study aimed to describe the steps undertaken in the preparation of a multinational, multicenter randomized controlled trial (RCT) to test a mobile phone–based remote symptom monitoring system, that is, Advanced Symptom Management System (ASyMS), designed to enhance management of chemotherapy toxicities among people with cancer receiving adjuvant chemotherapy versus standard cancer center care. Methods: There were 13 cancer centers across 5 European countries (Austria, Greece, Ireland, Norway, and the United Kingdom). Multiple steps were undertaken, including a scoping review of empirical literature and clinical guidelines, translation and linguistic validation of study materials, development of standardized international care procedures, and the integration and evaluation of the technology within each cancer center. Results: The ASyMS was successfully implemented and deployed in clinical practices across 5 European countries. The rigorous and simultaneous steps undertaken by the research team highlighted the strengths of the system in clinical practice, as well as the clinical and technical changes required to meet the diverse needs of its intended users within each country, before the commencement of the RCT. Conclusions: Adapting and implementing this multinational, multicenter system required close attention to diverse considerations and unique challenges primarily related to communication and clinical and technical issues. Success was dependent on collaborative and transparent communication among academics, the technology industry, translation partners, patients, and clinicians as well as a simultaneous and rigorous methodological approach within the 5 relevant countries.

  • The Carer Guide app. Source: Image created by Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL: http://cancer.jmir.org/2019/1/e11779/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    A Smartphone App to Support Carers of People Living With Cancer: A Feasibility and Usability Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Carers experience unique needs while caring for someone with cancer. Interventions that address carers’ needs and well-being have been developed and tested; however, the use of smartphone apps to support adult carers looking after another adult with cancer has not been assessed. Objective: The objective of this study was to test the feasibility, usability, and acceptability of a smartphone app, called the Carer Guide App, for carers of people with colorectal cancer. Methods: We recruited carers of people with colorectal cancer from outpatient day oncology units and provided them with access to the smartphone app for 30 days. Carers had access to video instructions and email contact details for technical support. Carers received 2 email messages per week that directed them to resources available within the app. Carers completed demographic questions at baseline and questions related to feasibility and usability at 30 days post app download. We used recruitment and attrition rates to determine feasibility and relevance of content to carers’ needs as self-reported by carers. We assessed usability through the ease of navigation and design and use of technical support or instructional videos. Acceptability was measured through self-reported usage, usage statistics provided by Google Analytics, and comments for improvement. Results: We recruited 31% (26/85) eligible carers into the trial. Of the 26 carers, the majority were female (19, 73%), on average 57 years of age, were caring for a spouse with cancer (19, 73%), and held a university degree (19, 73%). Regarding feasibility, carers perceived the content of the Carer Guide App as relevant to the information they were seeking. Regarding usability, carers perceived the navigation and design of the app as easy to use. Of the 26 carers, 4 (15%) viewed the downloading and navigation video and 7 (27%) used the contact email address for queries and comments. Acceptability: On average, carers used the smartphone app for 22 minutes (SD 21 minutes) over the 30-day trial. Of 26 participants, 19 completed a follow-up questionnaire. Of 19 carers, 7 (37%) logged on 3 to 4 times during the 30 days and 5 (26%) logged on more than 5 times. The majority (16/19, 84%) of carers stated that they would recommend the app be available for all carers. Comments for improvement included individualized requests for specific content. Conclusions: The Carer Guide App was feasible and usable among carers of people with colorectal cancer. Acceptability can be improved through the inclusion of a variety of information and resources. A randomized controlled trial is required to assess the impact of the Carer Guide App on carers’ health and well-being.

  • Screen capture from ListeningTime video. Source: The Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL: http://cancer.jmir.org/2019/1/e11556/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Evaluation and Implementation of ListeningTime: A Web-Based Preparatory Communication Tool for Elderly Patients With Cancer and Their Health Care Providers

    Abstract:

    Background: Effective patient-provider communication is an important condition to deliver optimal care and it supports patients in coping with their disease. The complex and emotionally loaded setting of oncology care challenges both health care providers (HCPs) and patients in reaching effective communication. ListeningTime is developed for elderly patients with cancer and their oncological HCPs to help them (better) prepare the clinical encounter and overcome communication barriers. ListeningTime is a Web-based preparatory communication tool including modeling videos and has an audio-facility to listen back to recorded encounters. Objective: This study aims to evaluate the usability, perceived usefulness, and actual use of ListeningTime, through the eyes of elderly patients with cancer and their oncological HCPs. If highly rated, the ultimate goal is to make ListeningTime publicly available. Methods: First, members of a panel of elderly cancer survivors and patients (age ≥65 years) were approached to evaluate ListeningTime through a Web-based questionnaire. The usability and perceived usefulness were assessed. Second, ListeningTime was evaluated in real-life practice through a pilot study in 3 Dutch hospitals. In these hospitals, elderly patients with cancer and their oncological HCPs were approached to evaluate ListeningTime through a similar Web-based questionnaire, measuring the perceived usefulness. In addition, we examined log files and user statistics to get insight into how the program was used. Results: A total of 30 cancer survivors or patients from the patient panel, and 17 patients and 8 HCPs from the hospitals, evaluated ListeningTime. Overall, both panel members and hospital patients were positive about the ListeningTime website, audio-facility, and video fragments. Some patients suggested improvements with respect to the actors’ performances in the video fragments and believed that ListeningTime is mainly suitable for non experienced patients. HCPs were also positive about ListeningTime; they valued the video fragments for patients and the audio-facility for patients and themselves. However, providers did not relisten their own recorded encounters. Patients did use the audio-facility to relisten their encounters. Conclusions: ListeningTime was highly rated, both by patients and their oncological HCPs. As a result, the video fragments of ListeningTime are now made publicly available for elderly patients with cancer through the Dutch website “kanker.nl.”

  • Source: Flickr; Copyright: Marco Verch; URL: https://www.flickr.com/photos/160866001@N07/46531338132; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Self-Care Behaviors of Ovarian Cancer Patients Before Their Diagnosis: Proof-of-Concept Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Longer patient intervals can lead to more late-stage cancer diagnoses and higher mortality rates. Individuals may delay presenting to primary care with red flag symptoms and instead turn to the internet to seek information, purchase over-the-counter medication, and change their diet or exercise habits. With advancements in machine learning, there is the potential to explore this complex relationship between a patient’s symptom appraisal and their first consultation at primary care through linkage of existing datasets (eg, health, commercial, and online). Objective: Here, we aimed to explore feasibility and acceptability of symptom appraisal using commercial- and health-data linkages for cancer symptom surveillance. Methods: A proof-of-concept study was developed to assess the general public’s acceptability of commercial- and health-data linkages for cancer symptom surveillance using a qualitative focus group study. We also investigated self-care behaviors of ovarian cancer patients using high-street retailer data, pre- and postdiagnosis. Results: Using a high-street retailer’s data, 1118 purchases—from April 2013 to July 2017—by 11 ovarian cancer patients and one healthy individual were analyzed. There was a unique presence of purchases for pain and indigestion medication prior to cancer diagnosis, which could signal disease in a larger sample. Qualitative findings suggest that the public are willing to consent to commercial- and health-data linkages as long as their data are safeguarded and users of this data are transparent about their purposes. Conclusions: Cancer symptom surveillance using commercial data is feasible and was found to be acceptable. To test efficacy of cancer surveillance using commercial data, larger studies are needed with links to individual electronic health records.

  • Source: Pixabay; Copyright: Niek Verlaan; URL: https://pixabay.com/en/tablet-ipad-read-screen-swipe-1075790/; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    Impact of Electronic Self-Assessment and Self-Care Technology on Adherence to Clinician Recommendations and Self-Management Activity for Cancer...

    Abstract:

    Background: Patients undergoing cancer treatment experience symptoms that negatively affect their quality of life and adherence to treatment. The early identification and management of treatment-related symptoms are critical to prevent symptom distress due to unmanaged symptoms. However, the early identification and management of treatment-related symptoms are complex as most cancer treatments are delivered on an outpatient basis where patients are granted less face-to-face time with clinicians. The Electronic Symptom Assessment and Self-Care (ESRA-C) promotes participant self-management of treatment-related symptoms by providing participants with communication coaching and symptom self-report, education, and tracking features. While the ESRA-C intervention has been demonstrated to improve symptom distress significantly, little is known as to how the ESRA-C influenced participants’ self-management practices and adherence to clinician recommendations for symptom/quality of life issues (SQIs). Objective: To compare participant adherence to clinician recommendations and additional self-management strategy use for SQIs between ESRA-C intervention and control (electronic symptom assessment and participant symptom reports alone) group participants. Secondarily, we explored the impact of participant adherence to clinician recommendations and additional self-management strategy use for SQIs on symptom control, symptom management satisfaction, and symptom distress. Lastly, we examined baseline predictors of participant adherence to clinician recommendations and additional self-management strategy use for SQIs. Methods: This study presents an analysis of a randomized controlled trial. Participants beginning a new chemotherapy or radiotherapy regimen were recruited from oncology outpatient centers and were randomized to receive the ESRA-C intervention or control during treatment. Patients were included in this analysis if they remained on study through the duration of treatment and self-reported at least one bothersome SQI three-to-six weeks after beginning treatment. The Symptom Distress Scale-15 and Self-Management of SQIs Questionnaire were completed two weeks later. Based on Self-Management of SQIs Questionnaire ratings, participants were placed into adherence to clinician recommendations (adhered/did not adhere/did not receive recommendations) and additional self-management strategy use (yes/no) categories. Results: Most participants were adherent to clinician recommendations (273/370, 73.8%), while fewer used additional self-management strategies for SQIs (182/370, 49.2%). There were no differences in the frequency of participant adherence to clinician recommendations (chi-square test, P=.99) or self-management strategy use (chi-square test, P=.80) between intervention (n=182) and control treatment groups (n=188). Participants who received clinician recommendations reported the highest treatment satisfaction (n=355, P<.001 by analysis of variance; ANOVA), although lowest distress was reported by participants who did not follow clinician recommendations (n=322, P=.04 by ANOVA) for top 2 SQIs. Women (n=188) reported greater additional self-management strategy use than men (n=182, P=0.03 by chi-square test). Conclusions: ESRA-C intervention use did not improve participants’ adherence to clinician recommendations or additional self-management strategy use for SQIs in comparison to the control. Future research is needed to determine which factors are important in improving patients’ self-management practices and symptom distress following ESRA-C use. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00852852; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00852852 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/73rEhNWkU)

  • Web portal (montage). Source: The Authors / Placeit; Copyright: The Authors; URL: http://cancer.jmir.org/2018/2/e11978/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    An Interactive Web Portal for Tracking Oncology Patient Physical Activity and Symptoms: Prospective Cohort Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Physical activity levels typically decline during cancer treatment and often do not return to prediagnosis or minimum recommended levels. Interventions to promote physical activity are needed. Support through the use of digital health tools may be helpful in this situation. Objective: The goal of the research was to evaluate the feasibility, usability, and acceptability of an interactive Web portal developed to support patients with cancer to increase daily physical activity levels. Methods: A Web portal for supportive cancer care which was developed to act as a patient-clinician information and coaching tool focused on integrating wearable device data and remote symptom reporting. Patients currently receiving or who had completed intensive anticancer therapy were recruited to 3 cohorts. All cohorts were given access to the Web portal and an activity monitor over a 10-week period. Cohort 2 received additional summative messaging, and cohort 3 received personalized coaching messaging. Qualitative semistructured interviews were completed following the intervention. The primary outcome was feasibility of the use of the portal assessed as both the number of log-ins to the portal to record symptoms and the completion of post-program questionnaires. Results: Of the 49 people were recruited, 40 completed the intervention. Engagement increased with more health professional contact and was highest in cohort 3. The intervention was found to be acceptable by participants. Conclusions: The portal was feasible for use by people with a history of cancer. Further research is needed to determine optimal coaching methods.

  • Source: Flickr; Copyright: Stephen Dickter; URL: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sdickter/3663400253; License: Creative Commons Attribution + NoDerivatives (CC-BY-ND).

    Usability Evaluation of a Mobile Phone–Based System for Remote Monitoring and Management of Chemotherapy-Related Side Effects in Cancer Patients:...

    Abstract:

    Background: As most chemotherapy is administered in the outpatient setting, patients are required to manage related side effects at home without direct support from health professionals. The Advanced Symptom Management System (ASyMS) has been developed to facilitate the remote monitoring and management of chemotherapy-related toxicity in patients with cancer, using patient-reported outcomes questionnaires and a clinician alerting system. Objective: This study aims to evaluate the usability of the ASyMS, a mobile phone–based technology, from the perspective of Canadian patients with cancer receiving chemotherapy to identify existing design, functionality, and usability issues and elicit their views, experiences, and satisfaction with the ASyMS. Methods: We used a mixed-method approach to data collection with user-based testing, a think-aloud technique, semistructured interviews, and short answer questionnaires with a purposive sample of 10 patients with cancer. Participants attended usability testing sessions at the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, University Health Network, and performed specific tasks on the ASyMS device. The test was videorecorded and each task was timed during the test. After the usability sessions, participants completed a posttest questionnaire and participated in a semistructured qualitative interview. A thematic analysis was used to code and categorize the identified issues into themes that summarized the type and frequency of occurrence. Results: The thematic analysis generated 3 overarching themes as follows: ASyMS user-friendliness; usefulness of ASyMS (content quality and richness); and intention to use. Results from the posttest questionnaire indicated that 80% (8/10) of participants had great motivation to use the ASyMS, 70% (7/10) had positive perceptions of the successful use of the ASyMS, and all (10/10, 100%) had a positive attitude toward using the ASyMS in the future. Most identified design and functionality issues were related to the navigation of the ASyMS device and a desire for a more attractive design with advanced functionality and features. The main general design recommendations were as follows: enhance the readability of the screen; implement advance options (eg, search option); and support better navigation. Conclusions: The ASyMS has shown positive perceptions of patients in usability testing and qualitative interviews. An evaluation of the effects of the ASyMS on symptom outcomes in a clinical trial is needed.

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  • Development of a computer-based algorithm for supporting community pharmacists in providing personalised lifestyle interventions for men with prostate cancer

    Date Submitted: Apr 16, 2019

    Open Peer Review Period: Apr 23, 2019 - Jun 18, 2019

    Background: The number of people living with and beyond a cancer diagnosis has increased, however survivors may experience long-term side-effects from treatment that can impact on physical fitness and...

    Background: The number of people living with and beyond a cancer diagnosis has increased, however survivors may experience long-term side-effects from treatment that can impact on physical fitness and cardiovascular health. Lifestyle interventions enhance outcomes after cancer treatment but innovations and technology are needed to provide consistency and scalability. Interventions to support exercise and dietary modification in secondary care settings have been limited by the lack of personalisation, clinician time and resources. Community pharmacies are well positioned to provide lifestyle advice for people with cancer and long-term conditions. This study is the first to develop a tailored lifestyle intervention using a computer algorithm to enable community pharmacists to provide personalised advice for cancer patients. Objective: To create a computer-based algorithm to support community pharmacists to deliver a tailored lifestyle intervention for men during and after treatment for prostate cancer. Methods: An observational study was conducted at two UK centres involving 83 men with prostate cancer who were 3-36 months’ post-diagnosis. Physical fitness, strength and cardiovascular health were assessed. Qualitative interviews were undertaken with 20 participants to understand their interpretation of the assessment and analysed using a framework analysis. These data were used to inform our computer-based algorithm and lifestyle prescriptions. Results: Physical fitness varied across participants. Limb strength was categorised with upper body strength low for 40% of men compared to their age (40 out of 83) and lower limb strength (44 of 83) 53% of men were low in comparison to age normative values. The Siconolfi step test provided classification of cardiopulmonary fitness with 26.5% (22 of 83) men unable to complete level 1 with very low physical fitness and 41% (34 of 83) of men moderate completing stage 2 of the test. Cardiovascular risk was categorised as high (>20% QRISK2) in 41% of men contributed to by the number of men who had a high hip to waist ratio 72 of 83 men (86.7%) indicating abdominal fat. Three emergent themes from the qualitative analysis highlighted different perceptions of the physical assessment experience. The algorithm provided a clear pathway for decision making, that it was safe and effective to enable community pharmacists to prescribe tailored lifestyle advice for men with prostate cancer. Conclusions: We have developed a computer algorithm that uses simple, safe and validated assessments to provide tailored lifestyle advice which addresses specific areas of cardiovascular risk, strength and physical fitness in men with prostate cancer. It generates a real-time lifestyle prescription at the point of care and has been integrated into the software platform used by pharmacies in the UK. The algorithm was integrated into the software platform used by pharmacies within the UK. Clinical Trial: The study was approved by the UK National Research Ethics Service REC 14/LO/0495 IRAS project ID 148309.

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