Research program to collect real-time PROMs to improve cancer care

Friday, 08 April, 2022

Research program to collect real-time PROMs to improve cancer care

Monash University is leading a registry-based clinical trial, PROpatient, that aims to determine if symptom monitoring and care coordination, using Personify Care’s digital patient pathways, improve health-related quality of life for patients with pancreatic and oesophagogastric cancer.

People with these cancers may experience symptoms and/or problems that decrease their quality of life. The study evaluates the benefits of embedding PROMs into the nurse-led clinical workflow enabled by digital patient pathways.

Patients regularly complete questionnaires via their mobile device to report their symptoms and/or problems while at home using their computer or smartphone.

The PROpatient project is funded by the Victorian Cancer Agency and overseen by the Monash University Cancer Research Program. Participants will be recruited through Monash University’s Upper-Gastrointestinal Registry from across 12 participating sites, including Austin Health, Cabrini, Western Health and St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne.

“Personify Care has allowed easy two-way communication between our research team and our trial participants, improving our access to patient-reported outcomes and making it simpler for participants to report symptoms,” said Dr Liane Ioannou, Mid-Career Research Fellow, Cancer Research Program, Monash University. The team believes it’s important to create a positive treatment experience that supports good quality of life for patients.

Using digital patient pathways, the trial enables patients to become engaged members of their own healthcare team, and gives them an accessible mobile platform to report symptoms they otherwise may not have flagged with their cancer care team.

Trial participants enrolled at one of the 12 participating sites, including Austin Health, Western Health and Cabrini, are invited to the digital patient pathway enabled by Personify Care. They receive digital prompts to complete questionnaires and complete activities via the platform. Participants are also able to log into Personify Care at any time and report their symptoms and issues as frequently as they choose, and are provided with symptom-specific self-management resources as needed.

These symptoms are monitored by a PROpatient nurse, who will then talk to the patient over the phone to provide expert information/support and coordinate the patient’s care with the relevant clinicians. Via the Personify Care real-time dashboard, the treating nurse also receives alerts about patients with severe or worsening symptoms and escalates care from the team’s experienced cancer nurse consultants.

By using a digital platform to capture and monitor PROMs, the PROpatient team provides ongoing communication and support throughout treatment. This approach supports the continuity of care and is contributing to genuine reform of care-delivery models into the future.

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