PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to test the feasibility and acceptability of an Information and Communication Technology platform for assessing and managing patient reported symptoms during radiotherapy for prostate cancer.
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METHODS: In cooperation with a health management company, using a patient experience co-design, we developed the platform operated by an interactive application for reporting and managing symptoms in real time. Nine patients diagnosed with prostate cancer and receiving radiotherapy were recruited from two university hospitals in Sweden. Evidence-based symptoms and related self-care advice specific to prostate cancer were implemented in the application based on a literature review and interviews with patients and health care professionals. In the test of the platform the patients reported symptoms, via a mobile phone, daily for two weeks and were afterwards interviewed about their experiences.
RESULTS: Overall, the patients found the symptom questionnaire and the self-care advice relevant and the application user friendly. The alert system was activated on several occasions when the symptoms were severe leading to a nurse contact and support so the patients felt safe and well cared for.
CONCLUSIONS: The platform enabled increased patient involvement and facilitated symptom assessment and communication between the patient and the health care provider. The study's results support further development of the platform, as well as tests in full-scale studies and in other populations.
Sundberg K, Eklöf AL, Blomberg K, Isaksson AK, Wengström Y. Are you the author?
Department of NVS, Division of Nursing, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
Reference: Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2015 Mar 23. pii: S1462-3889(15)00034-4.