Employing apps in assessment of symptoms during cancer treatment facilitates detection of adverse events and may improve patient outcomes. Our interactive app Interaktor supports patients’ symptom management by regular symptom reporting, alerts for rapid access to staff in case of severe symptoms and continual access to relevant self-care advice. The aim of this study was to describe usage and explore perceptions of using Interaktor during cancer treatment.
The study includes the participants from the intervention arms of two separate randomized controlled trials (RCT) on patients with breast cancer (n = 74) during neoadjuvant chemotherapy and locally advanced prostate cancer (n = 75) during radiotherapy. It comprises usage metrics analysed by descriptive statistics and interviews analyzed by conventional content analysis.
Adherence to daily reporting during treatment was in median above 80 %. Most patients viewed the information pages with self-care advice numerous times. The app was perceived user-friendly, faciliating interaction with health care professionals and supporting self care. Symptom reporting was a quick and comfortable way to access help. Using the app generated feelings of being monitored, involved and cared for. Further it supported attentiveness to and reflection of own well- being but could also serve as a reminder of illness. Some patients described that vigor, comorbidity, and cognitive side effects from the treatment influenced the motivation for and ability to symptom report. The information pages with self care advice were useful and appreciated and gave an idea of what was to be expected during treatment. Patients requested added and more comprehensive information on psychological symptoms and dietary advice.
The Interaktor app is a userfriendly and convenient alternative for patients contact and involvement with health care that aided symptom management, self-care and further enhanced patients participation in their care.
Clinical trial identification
NCT02479607 and NCT02477137.
Legal entity responsible for the study
Swedish Cancer Foundation, Swedish Research Council, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare and Karolinska Institutet.
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.