Patients Who Self-reported Symptoms Experienced Improved Health-Related Quality of Life

Share this content:
Patients who self-reported symptoms via a web-based interface experienced fewer hospital and emergency department visits and stayed on chemotherapy longer.
Patients who self-reported symptoms via a web-based interface experienced fewer hospital and emergency department visits and stayed on chemotherapy longer.

Patients with cancer were admitted to the emergency department and hospitalized less frequently, and stayed on chemotherapy longer when they self-reported symptoms during cancer treatment using tablet computers, a new study has found.1

Between September 14, 2007 and January 6, 2011, 766 patients initiating chemotherapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for metastatic breast, genitourinary, gynecologic, or lung cancers were randomly assigned to usual treatment without self-reporting symptoms, or given tablets to self-report symptoms via a web-based interface.

Patients reported frequency and severity of 12 common symptoms experienced during chemotherapy: appetite loss, constipation, cough, diarrhea, dyspnea, dysuria, fatigue, hot flashes, nausea, pain, neuropathy, and vomiting. The study's primary outcome was health-related quality of life (HRQL) at 6 months from baseline. HRQL improved for 34% of patients in the intervention group, compared to 18% of patients who received usual care.

“Prior work has shown that as oncologists, we miss up to half of our patients' symptoms during treatment, and particularly those symptoms that people experience between visits,” said Ethan Basch, MD, MSc, of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, NC, and the study's lead author, in an interview with Cancer Therapy Advisor.

“As it stands now, it's on the patient to call or bring something up to the physician, and unfortunately things often [go unreported]. By using these remote monitoring approaches, we bring in the ability to systematically collect this information over time, to get people involved in their own care, and to flag things that are concerning,” he said.

RELATED: Patient-reported Outcomes with Anastrozole vs Tamoxifen for DCIS

Sixty-three percent of patients using the tablets reported severe symptoms during the study. In response to alerts for severe or worsening symptoms, nurses directly intervened by way of telephone counseling (77% of the time), medication changes (12%), referrals to the emergency department or hospital (8%), dose modification (2%), or imaging/test orders (2%).

Page 1 of 2

Related Resources

You must be a registered member of Cancer Therapy Advisor to post a comment.

Regimen and Drug Listings

GET FULL LISTINGS OF TREATMENT Regimens and Drug INFORMATION

Bone Cancer Regimens Drugs
Brain Cancer Regimens Drugs
Breast Cancer Regimens Drugs
Endocrine Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gastrointestinal Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gynecologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Head and Neck Cancer Regimens Drugs
Hematologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Lung Cancer Regimens Drugs
Other Cancers Regimens
Prostate Cancer Regimens Drugs
Rare Cancers Regimens
Renal Cell Carcinoma Regimens Drugs
Skin Cancer Regimens Drugs
Urologic Cancers Regimens Drugs

Sign Up for Free e-newsletters