A Research Study to Collect Patient Reported Outcomes Using Electronic Surveys

Official Title

A Randomized Clinical Trial of Electronic Tumour-Specific Patient-Reported Outcomes in Early-Stage Breast and Colorectal Cancer Patients Undergoing Adjuvant Chemotherapy


A single-centre, randomized, 2-arm clinical trial comparing follow-up consisting of tumour-specific Electronic Patient-Reported Outcomes (ePROs) with targeted symptom management versus standard of care follow-up during adjuvant systemic therapy

Trial Description

Primary Outcome:

  • Assessment of the Quality of Life of Cancer Patients Using EORTC-QLQ C30 Questionnaire
  • Assessment of the Quality of Life of Breast Cancer Patients Using EORTC-QLQ BR23 Questionnaire
  • Assessment of the Quality of Life of Colorectal Cancer Patients Using EORTC-QLQ CR29 Questionnaire
Secondary Outcome:
  • Impacts of Electronic Quality of Life Questionnaires on Health Care Resource Utilization
  • Health System Cost
  • Rate of Patient satisfaction
  • Patient self-efficacy

The intervention in this study will consist of a web-based portal that leverages the existing data entry and reporting capacity of the REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) platform to prompt study participants to enter various health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and symptom measures online at regular intervals throughout the course of the adjuvant systemic therapy, and particularly in between scheduled clinic visits (per standard of care dependent on chemotherapy protocol). Specifically, the portal will incorporate the following PROs: the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale revised version (ESASr), the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer - Quality of Life Questionnaire Cancer Patients (EORTC-QLQ C30), the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer - Quality of Life Questionnaire Breast Cancer (EORTC-QLQ BR23), and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer - Quality of Life Questionnaire Colorectal Cancer (EORTC-QLQ CR29), and selected adverse event-related questions related to commonly prescribed adjuvant systemic therapy regimens for breast and colorectal cancer. The portal will identify all study participants who have entered scores 4 or greater on the ESASr scale and subsequently alert the participant's research nurse to perform a review of the patient's records and initiate a telephone assessment with the study participant. The study hypothesizes that patients experiencing this level of symptom severity are currently accustomed to initiating contact with the nurse; this is a reactive approach whereby the healthcare team does not respond unless the patient initiates the contact. The investigators propose a more proactive approach whereby the healthcare team initiates the contact as symptoms are reported. By addressing symptoms as they occur, this will most likely reduce the resources (nursing time, etc.) required to address symptoms as a point when they have become more severe or need acute intervention.

For participants with mild symptoms (Less than 4 on ESASr), subjects will be prompted by the online system to refer to standardized patient educational materials on self-management of symptoms (provided as hyperlinks to online web-based standardized self-management information. Hyperlinks to standardized educational materials with instructions on how to manage common symptoms associated with chemotherapy treatment will also be provided to participants on the intervention arm.

For participants who are identified as having a high burden of symptoms (e.g., a score of 4 or greater on any one symptom), the research nurse will be able to pre-emptively offer clinical advice by phone on appropriate symptom management, notify the responsible physician, and provide interventions to alleviate these symptoms as per usual routine. If needed, the research nurse and physician may offer the participant an unscheduled clinic visit to manage symptom crises in person. Conversely, for participants with a very low symptom burden (e.g., all symptom scores less than 4) or no symptoms at all, the portal will offer these individuals an opportunity to opt-out of the next scheduled face-to-face clinic visit within 24 hours prior to the scheduled clinic visit. Prior to the opt-out, the research nurse will also perform a review of the patient's records, conduct a telephone assessment with the participant to assess symptom levels, and notify the physician to confirm that cancelling the in-person clinic visit is both safe and clinically reasonable to pursue. It will ultimately be at the discretion of the treating oncologist whether or not participants feel comfortable canceling this visit. Asymptomatic participants will retain the right to keep the scheduled clinic appointment. All ePROs and their trends over time will be made available at each clinic visit to the primary cancer nurse and oncologist(s) both electronically and on the paper chart to further facilitate treatment decision-making and optimize symptom management.

View this trial on ClinicalTrials.gov

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Canadian Cancer Society

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