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Title: A pilot study of a smartphone-based monitoring intervention on head and neck cancer patients undergoing concurrent chemo-radiotherapy
Authors: Elisa Maria Zini, Giordano Lanzola, Silvana Quaglini, Paolo Bossi, Lisa Licitra, Carlo Resteghini
Please cite this article as: Zini EM, Lanzola G, Quaglini S, Bossi P, Licitra L, Resteghini C, A pilot study of a smartphone-based monitoring intervention on head and neck cancer patients undergoing concurrent chemo-radiotherapy, International Journal of Medical Informatics (2019), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2019.06.004
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A pilot study of a smartphone-based monitoring intervention on head and neck cancer patients undergoing concurrent chemo-radiotherapy
Elisa Maria Zini1,*, Giordano Lanzola1, Silvana Quaglini1, Paolo Bossi2, Lisa Licitra2, Carlo Resteghini2
1Department of Electrical, Computer and Biomedical Engineering, University of Pavia, Italy
2Head and Neck Medical Oncology Department, IRCCS Foundation National Cancer Institute, Milan, Italy
*Corresponding author: Elisa Maria Zini, Department of Electrical, Computer and Biomedical
e-mail: [email protected]
Highlights · Treatments for head and neck cancer are effective but can have severe side effects. · Patient-reported outcomes favor early detection and treatment of side effects. · Few apps address patient-reported outcomes and education for head and neck cancer. · The pilot study showed the app usability, perceived usefulness, and feasibility. · The study shows HeNeA usability/perceived usefulness/feasibility of use. · The pilot study elicited patients’ feedbacks about some app flexibility issues.
Multidisciplinary treatment for head and neck carcinoma offers the best curative results but generates acute toxicities, which negatively affect both patients’ quality of life and treatment compliance. Usually, the patient’s clinical condition is recorded during scheduled, time-limited office visits and patients might forget to discuss symptoms occurred weeks before. They could also have difficulties contacting their clinicians outside of these limited encounters. Technology-based interventions for oncological patients have already been
proved to encourage accurate symptoms report through regular inquiries of their clinical conditions.
The aim of this work is to present the results of a pilot study about the assessment of a novel mobile application for reporting clinical parameters, quality of life, and symptoms of home patients affected by head and neck carcinoma, during chemo-radiotherapy and the subsequent follow-up period. Results will inform app designers about the necessary modifications to face a full-scale trial.
Ten patients used the app for the foreseen period (up to 65 days, median 50.5), at the end of which they answered a paper questionnaire addressing user satisfaction with the app. The questionnaire included 8 questions and a free text comment field. Patients were followed by three clinicians, who also answered a similar paper questionnaire at the end of the pilot study. Questionnaires total score ranged 0 -25 and a threshold of 16 was set in the study protocol to represent an overall positive outcome. However, to consider the individual constructs, questions about usability, perceived usefulness and user acceptance were also analyzed separately, and association among them was investigated. Finally, the feasibility of the intervention was analyzed in terms of the actual use of the app, i.e. dropout rates and compliance with the required data input. Statistics were only performed on patients’ data, due to the small number of doctors involved in the study.