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JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2018 May 7;6(5):e115. doi: 10.2196/mhealth.9363.

Development and Validation of a Multidisciplinary Mobile Care System for Patients With Advanced Gastrointestinal Cancer: Interventional Observation Study.

Author information

1
Samsung Advanced Institute for Health Sciences & Technology, Department of Digital Health, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Republic Of Korea.
2
Department of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Republic Of Korea.
3
Department of Dietetics, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Republic Of Korea.
4
LifeSemantics Corp, Seoul, Republic Of Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Mobile health apps have emerged as supportive tools in the management of advanced cancers. However, only a few apps have self-monitoring features, and they are not standardized and validated.

OBJECTIVE:

This study aimed to develop and validate a multidisciplinary mobile care system with self-monitoring features that can be useful for patients with advanced gastrointestinal cancer.

METHODS:

The development of the multidisciplinary mobile health management system was divided into 3 steps. First, the service scope was set up, and the measurement tools were standardized. Second, the service flow of the mobile care system was organized. Third, the mobile app (Life Manager) was developed. The app was developed to achieve 3 major clinical goals: support for quality of life, nutrition, and rehabilitation. Three main functional themes were developed to achieve clinical goals: a to-do list, health education, and in-app chat. Thirteen clinically oriented measures were included: the modified Patient-Reported Outcomes version of the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events questionnaire, Scored Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment (PG-SGA), distress, European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire, International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Short Form, Low anterior resection syndrome score, satisfaction rate, etc. To validate the system, a prospective observational study was conducted. Patients with gastric cancer or colon cancer undergoing chemotherapy were recruited. We followed the subjects for 12 weeks, and selected clinical measures were taken online and offline.

RESULTS:

After the development process, a multidisciplinary app, the Life Manager, was launched. For evaluation, 203 patients were recruited for the study, of whom 101 (49.8%) had gastric cancer, and 102 (50.2%) were receiving palliative care. Most patients were in their fifties (35.5%), and 128 (63.1%) were male. Overall, 176 subjects (86.7%) completed the study. Among subjects who dropped out, the most common reason was the change of patient's clinical condition (51.9%). During the study period, subjects received multiple health education sessions. For the gastric cancer group, the "general gastric cancer education" was most frequently viewed (322 times), and for the colon cancer group, the "warming-up exercise" was most viewed (340 times). Of 13 measurements taken from subjects, 9 were taken offline (response rate: 52.0% to 90.1%), and 3 were taken online (response rate: 17.6% to 57.4%). The overall satisfaction rate among subjects was favorable and ranged from 3.93 (SD 0.88) to 4.01 (SD 0.87) on the 5-point Likert scale.

CONCLUSIONS:

A multidisciplinary mobile care system for patients with advanced gastrointestinal cancer was developed with clinically oriented measures. A prospective study was performed for its evaluation, which showed favorable satisfaction.

KEYWORDS:

health apps; mobile care system; mobile health; mobile phone

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