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Keywords

Cancer, Chemotherapy, Symptom care, Telehealth, Web-based system

 

Authors

  1. CHAN, MOON FAI PhD, CStat
  2. ANG, NEO KIM EMILY PhD, RN
  3. CHO, AYE AYE MMed, MBA
  4. CHOW, YING LENG BHSc
  5. TAYLOR, BEVERLY PhD, RN

Abstract

Health delivery practices are shifting toward home care, because of better possibilities for managing chronic care, controlling health delivery costs, and increasing the quality of life and quality of health services, and the distinct possibility of predictingand thus avoiding serious complications. The study aimed to explore the benefits of an online Symptom Care and Management System in the home for patients receiving chemotherapy. A single-group experimental design was used. Thirty patients aged between 37 and 77 years undergoing their first or commencing a new course of chemotherapy treatment were recruited from November 2010 and December 2012 at a cancer center in Singapore. All patients used the Symptom Care and Management System to send daily symptom reports to the cancer center and received symptom management advice from the oncology nurse via teleconferencing during the first four chemotherapy treatment cycles. Patients' perceptions of the use of the Symptom Care and Management System were evaluated. All participants perceived the Symptom Care and Management System as a user-friendly interface and believed that they felt more involved in their care, and the system made it easier to understand some of the problems they experienced and helped them manage the symptoms more easily during the treatment. In addition, 29 participants (96.7%) felt that the nurse could contact them better via the Symptom Care and Management System, the Symptom Care and Management System helped them explain their symptoms to the nurse, and that it was simple to understand. The results presented in this study suggested that the Symptom Care and Management System has the potential to enhance remote monitoring and provides a feasible and acceptable way for a specific group of cancer patients to manage their symptoms at home.