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Cancer patients prefer to use Web-based technology for quality of life survey

August 27, 2017

Researchers wanted to find a new approach to increase participation in its quality of life questionnaire. The goal of the companion study was to determine if the compliance rate could increase from 52 to 75 percent using a Web-based system. Investigators used a HIPAA-secure Web-based technology, VisionTree Optimal Care, that can be accessed from any computer and offers email reminders to further increase compliance rates.

From September 2008 to December 2009, 49 prostate cancer patients who had an email address were involved in the study. Researchers found that the survey compliance rate six months after treatment increased from 52 to 90 percent (15 percent higher than their goal) when the Web-based technology was offered to patients.

The technology almost eliminated institutional error as a reason for noncompliance, since the Web-based system sent automatic email reminders to patients to encourage survey completion. A survey of research associates found that the system saved them an average of 10 minutes per quality of life form.

Movsas said, "We plan to use this new Web-based technology in studies for other cancer types, so we can better understand and ultimately improve the quality of life of additional cancer patients."

Source: American Society for Radiation Oncology