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Electronic Patient-Reported Outcome-Based Interventions for Palliative Cancer Care: A Systematic and Mapping Review

: Karamanidou, C.; Natsiavas, P.; Koumakis, L.; Marias, K.; Schera, F.; Schäfer, M.; Payne, S.; Maramis, C.


JCO clinical cancer informatics 4 (2020), S.647-656
ISSN: 2473-4276
Fraunhofer IBMT ()

PURPOSE: Capitalizing on the promise of patient-reported outcomes (PROs), electronic implementations of PROs (ePROs) are expected to play an important role in the development of novel digital health interventions targeting palliative cancer care. We performed a systematic and mapping review of the scientific literature on the current ePRO-based approaches used for palliative cancer care.
METHODS: Following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement guidelines, the conducted review answered the research questions: "What are the current ePRO-based approaches for palliative cancer care; what is their contribution/value in the domain of palliative cancer care; and what are the potential gaps, challenges, and opportunities for further research?" After a screening step, the corpus of included articles indexed in PubMed or the Web of Science underwent full text review, which mapped the articles across 15 predefined axes.
RESULTS: The corpus of 24 mapped studies includes 9 study protocols, 7 technical tools/solutions, 7 pilot/feasibility/acceptability studies, and 1 evaluation study. The review of the corpus revealed (1) an archetype of ePRO-enabled interventions for palliative cancer care, which most commonly use ePROs as study end point assessment instruments rather than integral intervention components; (2) the fact that the literature has not fully embraced the modern definitions that expand the scope of palliative care; (3) the striking shortage of promising ubiquitous computing devices (eg, smart activity trackers); and (4) emerging evidence about the benefits of narrowing down the target cancer population, especially when combined with modern patient-centered intervention design methodologies.
CONCLUSION: Although research on exploiting ePROs for the development of digital palliative cancer care interventions is considerably active and demonstrates several successful cases, there is considerable room for improvement along the directions of the aforementioned findings.