WCE 2017: Patient Reported Outcomes via Online Questionnaire – A Novel, Automated Approach for Tracking Patient-reported 30-Day Continence following Robot-Assisted Radical Prostatectomy

Vancouver, Canada (UroToday.com) Functional outcome recovery such as that of continence and sexual function are as important to the radical prostatectomy as is the cancer control. Additionally, given the long-term implications on patients’ quality of life during recovery, data collection and outcome tracking should capture a high proportion of responses, longitudinal, and efficient. 

Ms. Linda My Huynh (BS), a clinical research coordinator from the University of California – Irvine, presents a novel, automated approach for tracking patient-reported outcomes following robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP). In utilizing a publicly available, web-based and HIPAA compliant portal called REDCap, the group has been able to secure, transmit, and synthesize their research data in real-time. 

PROVOQ (Patient Reported Outcomes via Online Questionnaire) is the culmination of REDCap and automated software that interacts with the programs’ API. After the research coordinator enters a patient’s email address and date of surgery, PROVOQ automatically calculates the patients’ follow-up schedule and sends out automated email survey invitations at 30-days post-catheter removal with a single question “how many pads are you currently wearing at this time?”. If the patient does not respond within three days, an automatic email reminder is sent and repeated up to three times. Long-term outcomes are assessed with a longer survey consisting of the AUASS and IIEF-5. 

Similar to other studies assessing response rate to paper questionnaires, Ms. Huynh reports that her group utilized a historic control group who had a 68-70% response rate on pre-stamped pad-free postcards (PFC) and daily urinary pad logs. With the automated system of PROVOQ, however, the group reports over a 95% response rate, without secondary intervention (i.e. phone call or an email in excess of the two reminders). 

More impressively, however, is the time saved with the automated approach. Because all follow-up schedules and data analysis are set up within PROVOQ, the time required for 95% response rate has been reduced from 45 minutes per patient to approximately 1-2 minutes per patient. 

With such promising preliminary results, we will be looking forward to long-term results and external validation of PROVOQ. With widespread implementation, however, this approach presents as a valuable opportunity to integrate technology into long-term data collection efforts.

Presented by: Linda Huynh, BS

Authors: Linda Huynh, Thomas E. Ahlering 
Affiliations: University of California, Irvine

Written by: Linda Huynh (BS), assistant research specialist, University of California, Irvine at 35th World Congress of Endourology– September 12-16, 2017,