Mobile Reporting And Evaluation Of Symptoms Among Cancer Patients

Teresa SY ORTIN, University of Santo Tomas Hospital - Benavides Cancer Institute, Philippines

1 Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Santo Tomas Hospital - Benavides Cancer Institute, Manila, Philippines
2 Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA
3 Pain Management and Palliative Care Unit, University of Santo Tomas Hospital - Benavides Cancer Institute, Manila, Philippines
4 Center for Pain Medicine, University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, Manila, Philippines
5 Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines
6 Institute of Information and Computing Sciences, Faculty of Engineering, Manila, Philippines

Purpose.  Cancer is the third leading cause of morbidity in the Philippines and under-treatment of symptoms persists.  Patient feedback on treatment effectiveness, compliance and engagement in self-care are critical.  Telehealth applications influence patient engagement in self-care, improve health behavior and outcomes, likely by enhancing autonomy, competence, and relatedness in health care practices (self-determination theory).  We previously documented the prevalence of mobile phone use and acceptability and readiness for a web-based patient-reported outcomes monitoring system among our cancer patients.  We now set out to develop a mobile system for symptom reporting and evaluation among cancer patients.
Methods.  The literature was surveyed for validated symptom tools available in English and Filipino.  A focused-group discussion (two oncologists, two pain specialists and an international symptom researcher/collaborator) was conducted to assess face validity and elect an instrument.  Application interface and system design was developed in collaboration with local information technology consultants over several iterations until beta testing revealed a satisfactory design.
Results.  The Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS) was elected due to its validity, ease of administration and prevalent use in local research and clinical settings.  A mobile symptom monitoring system (the Internet-based Computerized Patient Assessment System, iComPASS) was developed and functions satisfactorily on beta testing.  The application allows patients to report symptom severity and pain location, view prescriptions and receive notifications from their physicians.
Conclusions.  The iComPASS is a beta-tested, functional mobile application.  It will be subjected to user-acceptability testing prior to implementation and integration into institutional care pathways.  A clinical trial will be conducted to determine its impact and define maintenance and scale-up issues.
Funding Source.  Cancer Conquer Foundation