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J Telemed Telecare. 2008;14(6):315-21. doi: 10.1258/jtt.2008.080505.

A pilot study of videotelephone-based support for newly diagnosed paediatric oncology patients and their families.

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Centre for Online Health, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.


As part of the preparation for a randomized controlled trial, we conducted a pilot study to investigate the feasibility of providing videotelephone-based support to a sample of families (n = 8) with a child diagnosed with cancer, returning home for the first time after diagnosis and initial treatment. Seven of these families received support via videotelephone over a three-month period. Twenty videotelephone calls were made totalling 400 minutes (median 21 min, IQR 16-24). All videotelephone calls involved the specialist nurse providing support to mothers (85%) or fathers (15%) and involved communicating directly with the patient in most of the calls (55%). Social workers were involved in three calls (15%). All families expressed satisfaction with services delivered in this way. There were few technical problems. The use of a hybrid approach to providing videotelephony, using the family home computer and Internet connection for video and the home telephone line for full-duplex audio, was less costly than the custom-made device used in past studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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