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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:

  • 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.

  • Adolescent using the Pain Squad app on a mobile phone (montage). Source: The Hospital for Sick Children / Smartmockups; Copyright: The Hospital for Sick Children; URL: https://smartmockups.com/mockup/digital_mockuuups_1; License: Licensed by the authors.

    The Implementation Effectiveness of a Freely Available Pediatric Cancer Pain Assessment App: A Pilot Implementation Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Pain Squad is an evidence-based, freely available iOS app designed to assess pain in children with cancer. Once research-based technologies such as Pain Squad are validated, it is important to evaluate their performance in natural settings to optimize their real-world clinical use. Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the implementation effectiveness of Pain Squad in a natural setting. Methods: Parents of 149 children with cancer (aged 8-18 years) were contacted to invite their child to participate. Participating children downloaded Pain Squad on their own iOS devices from the Apple App Store and reported their pain using the app twice daily for 1 week. Participants then emailed their pain reports from the app to the research team and completed an online survey on their experiences. Key implementation outcomes included acceptability, appropriateness, cost, feasibility, fidelity, penetration, and sustainability. Results: Of the 149 parents contacted, 16 of their children agreed to participate. More than a third (6/16, 37.5%) of participating children returned their pain reports to the research team. Adherence to the pain assessments was 62.1% (mean 8.7/14 assessments). The 6 children who returned reports rated the app as highly feasible to download and use and rated their overall experience as acceptable. They also reported that they would be willing to sustain their Pain Squad use over several weeks and that they would recommend it to other children with cancer, which suggests that it may have potential for penetration. Conclusions: While Pain Squad was well received by the small number of children who completed the study, user uptake, engagement, and adherence were significant barriers to the implementation of Pain Squad in a natural setting. Implementation studies such as this highlight important challenges and opportunities for promoting the use and uptake of evidence-based technologies by the intended end-users.

  • Use of PROM in a university setting in Germany. Source: The Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL: http://cancer.jmir.org/2018/2/e11373/; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Web-Based Patient-Reported Outcomes Using the International Consortium for Health Outcome Measurement Dataset in a Major German University Hospital:...

    Abstract:

    Background: Collecting patient-reported outcome (PRO) data systematically enables objective evaluation of treatment and its related outcomes. Using disease-specific questionnaires developed by the International Consortium for Health Outcome Measurement (ICHOM) allows for comparison between physicians, hospitals, and even different countries. Objective: This pilot project aimed to establish a digital system to measure PROs for new patients with breast cancer who attended the Charité Breast Center This approach should serve as a blueprint to further expand the PRO measurement to other disease entities and departments. Methods: In November 2016, we implemented a Web-based system to collect PRO data at Charité Breast Center using the ICHOM dataset. All new patients at the Breast Center were enrolled and answered a predefined set of questions using a tablet computer. Once they started their treatment at Charité, automated emails were sent to the patients at predefined treatment points. Those emails contained a Web-based link through which they could access and answer questionnaires. Results: By now, 541 patients have been enrolled and 2470 questionnaires initiated. Overall, 9.4% (51/541) of the patients were under the age of 40 years, 49.7% (269/541) between 40 and 60 years, 39.6% (214/541) between 60 and 80 years, and 1.3% (7/541) over the age of 80 years. The average return rate of questionnaires was 67.0%. When asked about the preference regarding paper versus Web-based questionnaires, 6.0% (8/134) of the patients between 50 and 60 years, 6.0% (9/150) between 60 and 70 years, and 12.7% (9/71) over the age of 70 years preferred paper versions. Conclusions: Measuring PRO in patients with breast cancer in an automated electronic version is possible across all age ranges while simultaneously achieving a high return rate.

  • Source: Shutterstock; Copyright: Shutterstock; URL: https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/young-woman-using-smartphone-subway-1038574906?subId1=1038574906&irgwc=1&utm_medium=Affiliate&utm_campaign=TinEye&utm_source=77643&utm_term=; License: Licensed by the authors.

    How to Optimize Health Messages About Cancer on Facebook: Mixed-Methods Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Incidence rate of cancer is increasing worldwide, with longer life expectancy being one of the main causes. Yet, between 30% and 50% of cancer cases are preventable, and early detection contributes to a better prognosis. This makes health communication strategies essential. Facebook, the world’s most used social networking site in 2017 and 2018, can be a useful tool for disseminating powerful messages on health promotion, prevention, and early detection. Objective: We aimed to (1) offer ways of optimizing health messages about cancer on Facebook, focusing on topics, such as risk factors, prevention, treatment, early diagnosis, and cure, and (2) investigate which aspects of these messages generate greater engagement. Methods: To verify what generates greater engagement in topics related to cancer on Facebook, we analyzed 16 Brazilian pages with the main theme of cancer. We performed a manual analysis of texts, content, and engagement rates. Finally, we developed a software program to operationalize the analysis of Facebook posts. The tool we devised aims to automate the analysis of any Facebook page with cancer as the main theme. Results: We analyzed 712 posts over a 1-month period. We divided the posts into the following 8 categories: “Testimonies or real-life stories,” “Solidarity,” “Anniversaries,” “Science and health,” “Events,” “Institutional,” “Risk factors,” and “Beauty.” The pages were also organized into groups according to the type of profile to which they belonged (ie, hospitals or foundations, informative, nongovernmental organizations, and personal pages).The results showed that the categories generating greater engagement in Brazil were not those with the highest percentage of cancer-related content. For instance, in the “Informative” group the “Testimonies or real-life stories” category generated an engagement of 79.5%. However, only 9.5% (25/261) of the content within the relevant time period dealt with such topics. Another example concerns the category “Science and health.” Despite being the one with the highest number of posts (129/261, 49.4%), it scored 5th in terms of engagement. This investigation served as the basis for the development of a tool designed to automate the analysis of Facebook pages. The list of categories and keywords generated by this analysis was employed to feed the system, which was then able to categorize posts appearing on a Facebook page. We tested the system on 163 posts and only 34 were classified incorrectly, which amounts to a 20.8% error rate (79.2% accuracy). Conclusions: The analysis we conducted by categorizing posts and calculating engagement rates shows that the potential of Facebook pages is often underutilized. This occurs because the categories that generate the greatest engagement are often not those most frequently used. The software developed in this research may help administrators of cancer-related pages analyze their posts more easily and increase public interest as a result.

  • Source: Flickr; Copyright: Jefferson Rudy/Agência Senado; URL: https://www.flickr.com/photos/agenciasenado/41132195890/in/photolist-25EHfPd-qJynY-27uBcZc-9gd61T-27CT4y8-27CT54r-48okP7-fQ58Ph-48okHC-9gcJKV-27CT5jX-ba68k-8m5XN2-2crXZ5w-5iVwbd-4idq8B-27YjGVU-222neXS-48okLC-27YjSY9-8EEdz3-23q4GoR-9gsWTR-RTDHfN-27uq5WX-9g; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Reliability of Cancer Treatment Information on the Internet: Observational Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Finding the correct medical information in a flood of information from the internet is a significant issue for patients with cancer. Objective: We investigated the reliability of the information on cancer treatment methods available on the internet based on an evaluation by medical oncologists, medical students, and cancer survivors. Methods: Using Google and Yahoo as the search engines, we carried out the information search using 2 keywords, “cancer treatment” and “cancer cure,” and the top 20 information sites were identified. A similar search was conducted on 5 types of cancer. The reliability of the information presented was rated on a 3-level scale (A, B, or C). Level A referred to reliable sites (providing information complying with the clinical practice guidelines for various types of cancer), Level B included sites not falling under either Level A or Level C, and Level C comprised dangerous or harmful sites (providing information on treatment not approved by the regulatory authority in Japan and bombastic advertisements without any relevant clinical evidence). The evaluation was conducted by medical oncologists, medical students, and cancer survivors. The consistency of the information reliability level rating between the medical students or cancer survivors with that of the medical oncologists was assessed by using the kappa value. Results: A total of 247 sites were evaluated for reliability. The ratings provided by the medical students’ group were as follows: Level A, 12.1% (30/247); Level B, 56.3% (139/247); and Level C, 31.6% (78/247). The ratings provided by the cancer survivors’ group were as follows: Level A, 16.8% (41/244); Level B, 44.7% (109/244); and Level C, 38.5% (94/244). The ratings provided by the oncologists’ group were as follows: Level A, 10.1% (25/247); Level B, 51.4% (127/247); and Level C, 38.5% (95/247). The intergroup rating consistency between the medical students’ group and oncologists’ group was 87.4% (216/247, kappa=0.77) and that between the cancer survivors’ group and oncologists’ group was 76.2% (186/244, kappa=0.61). Conclusions: Of the investigated sites providing information on cancer treatment on the internet, the percentage of sites that seemed to provide harmful information was much higher than that of sites providing reliable information. The reliability level rating was highly consistent between the medical students’ group and the medical oncologists’ group and also between the cancer survivors’ group and the medical oncologists’ group.

  • Webpages resulting from a search for online information on melanoma immuntherapy. Source: Image created by the authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL: https://cancer.jmir.org/2018/2/e10676/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Exploring the Most Visible German Websites on Melanoma Immunotherapy: A Web-Based Analysis

    Abstract:

    Background: Patients diagnosed with melanoma frequently search the internet for treatment information, including novel and complex immunotherapy. However, health literacy is limited among half of the German population, and no assessment of websites on melanoma treatment has been performed so far. Objective: The aim of this study was to identify and assess the most visible websites in German language on melanoma immunotherapy. Methods: In accordance with the common Web-based information-seeking behavior of patients with cancer, the first 20 hits on Google, Yahoo, and Bing were searched for combinations of German synonyms for “melanoma” and “immunotherapy” in July 2017. Websites that met our predefined eligibility criteria were considered for assessment. Three reviewers independently assessed their quality by using the established DISCERN tool and by checking the presence of quality certification. Usability and reliability were evaluated by the LIDA tool and understandability by the Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool (PEMAT). The Flesch Reading Ease Score (FRES) was calculated to estimate the readability. The ALEXA and SISTRIX tools were used to investigate the websites’ popularity and visibility. The interrater agreement was determined by calculating Cronbach alpha. Subgroup differences were identified by t test, U test, or one-way analysis of variance. Results: Of 480 hits, 45 single websites from 30 domains were assessed. Only 2 website domains displayed a German quality certification. The average assessment scores, mean (SD), were as follows: DISCERN, 48 (7.6); LIDA (usability), 40 (2.0); LIDA (reliability), 10 (1.6); PEMAT, 69% (16%); and FRES, 17 (14), indicating mediocre quality, good usability, and understandability but low reliability and an even very low readability of the included individual websites. SISTRIX scores ranged from 0 to 6872 and ALEXA scores ranged from 17 to 192,675, indicating heterogeneity of the visibility and popularity of German website domains providing information on melanoma immunotherapy. Conclusions: Optimization of the most accessible German websites on melanoma immunotherapy is desirable. Especially, simplification of the readability of information and further adaption to reliability criteria are required to support the education of patients with melanoma and laypersons, and to enhance transparency.

  • Source: Wikimedia Commons; Copyright: jfcherry; URL: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Laptop_and_stethoscope_(6123892769).jpg; License: Creative Commons Attribution + ShareAlike (CC-BY-SA).

    A Rapid Process for Identifying and Prioritizing Technology-Based Tools for Health System Implementation

    Abstract:

    Background: Health system decisions to put new technologies into clinical practice require a rapid and trustworthy decision-making process informed by best evidence. Objective: This study aimed to present a rapid evidence review process that can be used to inform health system leaders and clinicians seeking to implement new technology tools to improve patient-clinician decision making and patient-oriented outcomes. Methods: The rapid evidence review process we pioneered involved 5 sequential subprocesses: (1) environmental scan, (2) expert panel recruitment, (3) host evidence review panel, (4) analysis, and (5) local validation panel. We conducted an environmental scan of health information technology (IT) literature to identify relevant digital tools in oncology care. We synthesized the recent literature using current evidence review methods, creating visual summaries for use by a national panel of experts. Panelists were taken through a 6-hour modified Delphi process to prioritize tools for implementation. Findings from the rapid evidence review panel were taken to a local validation panel for further rapid review during a 3-hour session. Results: Our rapid evidence review process shows promise for informing decision making by reducing the amount of time and resources needed to identify and prioritize adoption of IT tools. Despite evidence of improved patient outcomes, panelists had substantial concerns about implementing patient-reported outcome tracking tools, voicing concerns about liability, lack of familiarity with new technology, and additional time and workflow changes such tools would require. Instead, clinicians favored technologies that did not require clinician involvement. Conclusions: Health system leaders can use the rapid evidence review process presented here to usefully inform local technology adoption, implementation, and use in practice.

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  • Feasibility of a Smartphone Application and Telephone Coaching Survivorship Care Planning Program among Spanish-speaking Breast Cancer Survivors

    Date Submitted: Jan 29, 2019

    Open Peer Review Period: Feb 1, 2019 - Mar 29, 2019

    Background: Spanish-speaking Latina breast cancer survivors experience disparities in knowledge of breast cancer survivorship care, psychosocial health, lifestyle risk factors, and symptoms, compared...

    Background: Spanish-speaking Latina breast cancer survivors experience disparities in knowledge of breast cancer survivorship care, psychosocial health, lifestyle risk factors, and symptoms, compared to their white counterparts. Survivorship care planning programs (SCCP) could help these women receive optimal follow-up care and manage their condition. Objective: Evaluate the feasibility, acceptability and preliminary efficacy of a culturally and linguistically suitable SCPP, called the Nuevo Amanecer (New Dawn) Survivorship Care Planning Program, for Spanish-speaking breast cancer patients in public hospital settings, approaching the end of active treatment. Methods: The 2-month intervention was delivered via a written bilingual survivorship care plan and booklet, Spanish-language mobile phone application with integrated activity tracker, and telephone coaching. This single-arm feasibility study used mixed methods to evaluate the intervention. Acceptability and feasibility were examined via tracking of implementation processes, debriefing interviews, and post-intervention satisfaction surveys. Preliminary efficacy was assessed via baseline and 2-month interviews using structured surveys and pre- and post-intervention average daily steps count based on activity tracker data. Primary outcomes were self-reported fatigue, health distress, knowledge of cancer survivorship care, and self-efficacy for managing cancer follow-up health care and self-care. Secondary outcomes were emotional well-being, depressive and somatic symptoms, and average daily steps. Results: All women (n=23) were foreign-born and limited English proficient, 13 (57%) had an elementary school education or less, 16 (70%) were of Mexican origin, and all had public health insurance. Coaching calls lasted on average 15 minutes each (SD 3.4). Nineteen of 23 participants (83%) completed all five coaching calls. The majority (17; 81%) rated the overall quality of the app as “very good or excellent” (all rated it as at least “good”). Women checked their daily steps graph on the app between 4.2 to 5.9 times/week. Compared to baseline, post-intervention fatigue (ß = -.26, P = .02) and health distress levels (ß = -.36, P = <.01) were significantly lower, and knowledge of recommended follow-up care and resources (ß = .41, P = .03) and emotional well-being improved significantly (ß = 1.42, P = .02); self-efficacy for managing cancer follow-up care did not change. Average daily steps increased significantly from 6,157 to 7,469 (ß = 1311.8, P = .02). Conclusions: We found preliminary evidence of program feasibility, acceptability and efficacy, with significant two-month improvements in fatigue, health distress, and emotional well-being, and increased knowledge of recommended follow-up care and average daily steps. Tailored smartphone and health coaching SCPPs could help to ensure equitable access to these services and improve symptoms and physical activity levels among Spanish-speaking Latina breast cancer survivors.

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