2021 MNRS Grantee

Midwest Nursing Research Society (MNRS) – CANS Dissertation Grant

Technology for advanced cancer symptom science: exploring facilitators and barriers of using electronic patient-reported outcome (ePRO) data collection methods in oncology clinical trials

Youmin Cho, MSN, RN, AGPCNP-BC, University of Michigan

Over 1.8 million people in the United States are diagnosed with cancer, and 650,000 people receive chemotherapy. Chemotherapy-induced adverse symptoms compromise patients’ successful treatment completion and their survival rates. Moreover, persistent side-effects affect patients’ long-term quality of life. The best way to assess these symptoms is to use patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures. Compared to the traditional paper-pencil PRO measures, electronic PRO (ePRO) measures have several advantages; reduced errors, rapid/efficient data collection, and better real-time communication between patients and clinicians. ePRO data collection via patients’ mobile devices, the BYOD (Bring Your Own Devices) practice, is time/cost-efficient and user-friendly, though patients’ uptake is still low. Furthermore, research nurses are at the frontline of symptom management, and their access to patients’ ePRO data would facilitate early/ongoing care. However, there is a critical gap in scientific knowledge regarding the best approach for encouraging nurses and patients to use ePRO data collection methods and patients’ and research nurses’ perceptions and experiences regarding BYOD methods.

This mixed-methods study aims to explore facilitators/barriers to BYOD ePRO data collection uptake within the NCI-funded research network (Alliance). Because of the lack of literature regarding ePRO uptake, we will integrate quantitative and qualitative data. Quantitative data about sociodemographic factors and technology attitudes will be collected from patients (N=80) and research nurses (N=66). Patients’ comorbidity data will be abstracted from medical records. Qualitative data will be collected via semi-structured 1:1 telephone/virtual interviews with patients (n=20) and nurses (n=20). Study findings will yield new insight regarding patient- and research nurse-related factors that are associated with BYOD ePRO data collection uptake in research settings. Findings will also inform new ways to promote rapid and high-quality patient-reported outcome data collection, ultimately fast-tracking scientific discovery towards improvements in nurse management of cancer treatment-related toxicity.