Electronic data capture of QoL PROMS: an exploratory study in patients commencing palliative treatment for Prostate Cancer.


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Sally Appleyard1,Duncan Gilbert2
1Brighton & Sussex Medical Schools,2Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals

Abstract

Background

Quality of Life is recognised to be of paramount importance to patients and families and there are a multitude of tools available. However we are relatively poor at measuring QoL both in research and clinical settings, partly due to the cost of transferring data from paper questionnaires. Direct electronic data capture of QoL PROMs could reduce costs and has potential to improve data quality, however is only feasible if the majority of patients will engage with it. Older patients may be less familiar with mobile devices and online tools.

Method

A feasibility study was conducted in three uro-oncology clinics. Patients were recruited when commencing a new treatment with non-radical intent. Participants completed QoL questionnaires (EORTC QLQ C30 & PR25 and EQ-5D-5L) on a tablet computer in outpatients via a bespoke "app". Participants were pre-classified into "computer familiarity" groups. Participants feelings about the process were recorded once they had completed the questionnaires. The QoL questionnaires and feasibility assessment were repeated at 3 months. Participants were also offered the option of completing questionnaires at 1 and 2 months from home via a weblink or app.

Results

40 patients were recruited, with an acceptance rate of 89%. Mean age was 74 years (range 58-89). 29/40 used email daily but only 14 used a tablet regularly. The majority of participants (36/40) found the questionnaires easy or straightforward. All participants were happy to complete questionnaires as part of routine care and 32 preferred electronic questionnaires. 33 participants consented to complete questionnaires remotely, however only 9 participants actually did so.

Conclusion

Patients with prostate cancer are willing and able to complete QoL PROMS on a tablet computer in clinic, with minimal support. Although the majority of patients agree to complete questionnaires from home, a minority actually do complete them. The reasons for this include both technological and personal challenges.