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Obtaining Patient-Reported Outcomes Electronically with "OncoFunction" in Head and Neck Cancer Patients During Aftercare

: Zebralla, Veit; Müller, Juliane; Wald, Theresa; Boehm, Andreas; Wichmann, Gunnar; Berger, Thomas; Birnbaum, Klemens; Heuermann, Katherina; Oeltze-Jafra, Steffen; Neumuth, Thomas; Singer, Susanne; Büttner, Matthias; Dietz, Andreas; Wiegand, Susanne

Fulltext ()

Frontiers in oncology 10 (2020), Art. 549915, 11 pp.
ISSN: 2234-943X
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IPMS ()

The disease and treatment of patients with head and neck cancer can lead to multiple late and long-term sequelae. Especially pain, psychosocial problems, and voice issues can have a high impact on patients’ health-related quality of life. The aim was to show the feasibility of implementing an electronic Patient-Reported Outcome Measure (PROM) in patients with head and neck cancer (HNC). Driven by our department’s intention to assess Patient-Reported Outcomes (PRO) based on the International Classification of Functioning during tumor aftercare, the program “OncoFunction” has been implemented and continuously refined in everyday practice. The new version of “OncoFunction” was evaluated by 20 head and neck surgeons and radiation oncologists in an interview. From 7/2013 until 7/2017, 846 patients completed the PROM during 2,833 of 3,610 total visits (78.5%). The latest software version implemented newly developed add-ins and increased the already high approval ratings in the evaluation as the number of errors and the time required decreased (6 vs. 0 errors, 1.35 vs. 0.95 min; p<0.01). Notably, patients had different requests using PRO in homecare use. An additional examination shows that only 59% of HNC patients use the world wide web. Using OncoFunction for online-recording and interpretation of PROM improved data acquisition in daily HNC patients’ follow-up. An accessory timeline grants access to former consultations and their visualization supported and simplified structured examinations. This provides an easy-to-use representation of the patient’s functional outcome supporting comprehensive aftercare, considering all aspects of the patient’s life.