The recent mobile technology advancements, such as the development of applications (apps) for mobile phones and tablets, can assist in the development of low-cost platforms to monitor therapeutic adherence or complications, providing easily accessible information or guidelines in self-care focused on the care recipient.
The aim of this study was to gather scientific evidence about the efficacy of the use of mobile apps during chemotherapy treatments.
A systematic review of quantitative studies was performed. All articles published until May 31, 2019 were identified in databases MEDLINE, CINAHL Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection, and Cochrane Library.
A total of 10 quantitative studies were included. A set of metrics was identified that essentially analyze issues related to the devices’ functionalities. The metrics associated with engagement and related to behavioral dimensions, associated with the use of/adherence to the mobile app, are predominant. The clinical metrics represent 25 of a total of 53 identified metrics. Beneficial and statistically significant results were identified related to fatigue, self-efficacy, and improvements in reports of complications.
Based on the available research, mobile apps are likely to be a useful and acceptable tool to monitor interventions and complications. In addition, mobile apps can help in the self-management of treatment-related complications. Importantly, these apps need to bridge the academic context and clinical practice, by evaluating the impact of the use of mobile apps in patients.
Implications for Practice
The concept of prescribing apps is being addressed to ensure that apps work and have fair privacy and data security policies that address safety requirements.