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The preferences of patients with cancer regarding an app to help them to meet their illness-related information needs: a qualitative interview study

Richards, R., Kinnersley, Paul, Brain, Katherine, Staffurth, John and Wood, Fiona 2019. The preferences of patients with cancer regarding an app to help them to meet their illness-related information needs: a qualitative interview study. JMIR mHealth and uHealth 7 (7) , e14187. 10.2196/14187

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Abstract

Background: The shift from inpatient to outpatient and community cancer care means that more patients with cancer need to manage their condition at home, without the direct supervision of their clinician. Subsequently, research has reported that many patients with cancer have unmet information needs during their illness. Mobile devices, such as mobile phones and tablet computers, provide an opportunity to deliver information to patients remotely. Before designing an app intervention to help patients with cancer to meet their information needs, in-depth qualitative research is required to gain an understanding of the views of the target users. Objective: We aimed to develop an app intervention to help patients meet their illness-related information needs in noninpatient settings. This study explored the information needs of patients with cancer and their preferences for an app and desired app features. Specifically, the perceived acceptability of an app, desired app features, and the potential benefits and disadvantages of, and barriers to, an app were explored. Methods: Qualitative, one-on-one semistructured interviews were conducted with patients with urological, colorectal, breast, or gynecological cancers (N=23) across two hospitals in South Wales. Interviews were audio-taped, transcribed, and analyzed using a thematic analysis. Results: Findings indicated that barriers to information exchange and understanding in consultations, and identification of reliable information sources between consultations, appeared to contribute to patients’ unmet information needs. Consequently, app feature suggestions included a question prompt list, a glossary of cancer terms, a resources feature, and a contacts feature. Anticipated benefits of this type of app included a more informed patient, improved quality of life, decreased anxiety, and increased confidence to participate in their care. The anticipated barriers to app use are likely to be temporary or can be minimized with regard to these findings during app development and implementation. Conclusions: This study highlights the desire of patients with cancer for an app intervention to help them meet their information needs during and between consultations with their clinicians. This study also highlights the anticipated acceptability and benefits of this type of intervention; however, further research is warranted.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: JMIR Publications
ISSN: 2291-5222
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 1 July 2019
Date of Acceptance: 5 June 2019
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2019 14:45
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/123855

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