The use of volunteers to implement electronic patient reported outcomes in lung cancer outpatient clinics

Kardo Ala-Alden, Nicola Stones, David Woolf, Neil Bayman, J Coote, L Pemberton, Hamid Sheikh, Clara Chan, Clare Hodgson, Janelle Yorke, Corinne Faivre-Finn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Treatment related toxicity is common after chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Our group has developed and validated an electronic Patient Reported Outcome questionnaire (ePRO) to assess symptoms and toxicity in lung cancer patients receiving (chemo)radiotherapy treatment. We assessed the
need for volunteer support in clinics to assist patients in completing ePROs.
Methods: Lung Cancer patients attending outpatient or radiotherapy clinics at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester were consented and asked to complete a Patient Reported Outcomes questionnaire using an electronic device (a touch screen). Trained volunteers were available if patients required help such as verbal or physical assistance. The primary objective was to determine the need
for volunteers to assist lung cancer patients in completing ePROs.
Results: 27/86 (31.4%) of patients who consented to this study required assistance to complete the ePRO. After questioning, we found that only 7/86 (8.1%) would have relied on volunteers for assistance as the majority of patients had a companion that could have provided help. 81/86 (94.2%) of patients were satisfied with the use of a touch screen tablet to complete the ePRO.
Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that the introduction of ePROs in lung cancer outpatient clinics is feasible, even without the use of volunteers for the majority of patients. The implementation of ePROs would allow large volumes of high quality (chemo)radiotherapy toxicity data to be collected accurately
and quickly. This is essential for the development of predictive models of outcome using population based data, which could allow the personalisation of (chemo)radiotherapy treatment for lung cancer
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-16
Number of pages8
JournalTechnical Innovations & Patient Support in Radiation Oncology
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2018


  • lung cancer


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