Inclusion of information technology-based assessments of health-related quality of life in routine oncology practice in Uruguay

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Abstract

Background: Previous research has shown that the inclusion of patient-reported outcomes measures in the patient’s visit to the oncologists might improve the quality of global health care. The aim of the study was to assess the feasibility, acceptance, and utility perceived by patients and oncologists of health-related quality of life (HRQL) assessments obtained prior to clinical visits, and to evaluate if this has an impact on patient’s well-being in a sample of Spanish-speaking patients from Uruguay. Methods: Patients assisted regularly in the Oncology Clinic were randomized into two groups: an intervention group that completed a set of questionnaires (European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer-Quality of Life Questionnaire-C30 (EORTC QLQ-C30) and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale using a touch screen device and a control group that did not respond to these questionnaires. At 2 months, the responses of all the participants to the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General (FACT-G) were collected over a telephone to determine whether there were differences in the HRQL between the intervention and control groups. The graphed scores of the intervention group were included in the clinical history of the patient during consultation. Patients and physicians completed the questionnaires on the usefulness of these measurements. Results: In total, 58 patients participated in this study: 36 in the intervention group and 22 in the control group; 65% of the participants were female, and median age was 59 years (18–79). Regarding patients, 97% found the questionnaires easy to complete and thought that they included important questions. As for oncologists, 68.8% used the information and 87.5% found it useful for the consultation. There were no significant differences in the FACT-G scores between the intervention and control groups. Conclusions: The routine HRQL assessments using an electronic device prior to the consultations were positively valued by almost all patients and physicians. This could significantly contribute to a better understanding of the patient's overall problems during consultation. These results confirm the benefits of integrating the patient’s self-reported quality of life outcomes into consultations.

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Castillo, C., Alfonso, A. L., Dapueto, J. J., Camejo, N., & Silva, M. (2022). Inclusion of information technology-based assessments of health-related quality of life in routine oncology practice in Uruguay. Journal of Patient-Reported Outcomes, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s41687-022-00458-7

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