Background: Computerized symptom and quality of life (QoL) assessment has been tested and found feasible and acceptable in outpatient settings for adult patients with cancer, but has not been used often in pediatric oncology settings in the United States.
Objective: The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate the feasibility of an innovative, computerized symptom, and QoL assessment for adolescent patients who were being treated for cancer.
Methods: A convenience sample of 40 adolescent patients with cancer, who were between 13 and 20 years old and able to communicate in English, agreed to participate. Each participant answered the Web-based Electronic Self-report Assessment-Cancer Adolescent Form on a wireless touch-screen computer just prior to a treatment visit in an ambulatory clinic setting. Descriptive frequencies and central tendency were used to describe sample characteristics and feasibility outcomes.
Results: The computerized assessment was found to be feasible with regard to data completeness rates (>99%), acceptability (high), time to complete (30 minutes), and assistance required to complete (minimal).
Conclusion: The Electronic Self-report Assessment-Cancer Adolescent Form is a feasible approach for obtaining adolescent patients' self-report of cancer symptoms and QoL in an ambulatory setting.
Implications for Practice: Screening for symptoms and QoL may be integrated during check-in procedures as routine assessment for adolescent cancer patients in ambulatory settings.