Electronic systems for remotely monitoring symptoms during cancer treatment are increasingly being used. Most of them are intended for weekly or periodic symptom monitoring.
The aim of this study was to explore the feasibility and usability of a remote system for daily symptom monitoring during systemic anticancer treatment.
We offered a remote system for daily symptom monitoring to patients starting their first ever systemic therapy. Patient acceptance was observed as the proportion of patients showing interest in using the system. System users were invited to complete the “Health information Technology Usability Evaluation Scale,” and the number of patients’ self-reports was used to evaluate patient compliance.
Of 465 patients, 239 (51.4%) showed interest in using the system; 111 system users reported a fairly good overall usability score (4 of 5), and perceived ease of use scored the highest (4.7 of 5) and perceived usefulness lowest (3.7 of 5). Their daily compliance was 68.8% (±31.1) at 3 weeks and 59.1% (±31.2) at 12 weeks after the start of treatment. Less than half of respondents (49.5%) and only one third (31.2%) perceived that their symptom reports were used by the nurses and doctors, respectively.
Half of patients starting their first ever systemic treatment showed interest in using a remote system for daily symptom monitoring. For these patients, daily symptom monitoring seems acceptable, and the system is well complied within the first 12 weeks of treatment.
Implication for Practice
A remote system for daily symptom monitoring is feasible and enables quick response to deteriorating symptoms. Use by healthcare professionals is a point of improvement.