Cancer Control Research5R21CA100803-02
Carpenter, Janet S.
COMPUTERIZED ASSESSMENT OF CANCER SYMPTOMS
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Statement of Problem: Cancer patients frequently experience disease- and treatment-related symptoms that can dramatically lower quality of life. Despite the availability of proven interventions capable of alleviating pain and suffering, numerous reports have indicated that symptoms are poorly controlled for a majority of patients. Although the barriers to successful control are numerous and complex, several studies have demonstrated that one of the most critical obstacles is the lack of a method permitting efficient, systematic and accurate assessment of symptoms. Computerized (i.e., automated) assessment of cancer symptoms offers a means to overcome this obstacle. By automating the administration and scoring of previously validated symptom measures, computerized symptom assessment can be used to generate brief but accurate summary reports that can be used during office visits, thereby facilitating patient-provider communication and improving quality of care. Broad Objective: The proposed feasibility study will develop and test a computerized assessment of oncology symptoms (CAOS) system. Specific Aims: To develop and evaluate the feasibility of a computerized assessment of pain, fatigue, depression and anxiety in three outpatient cancer clinics by examining participation rate, completion rate, completion time, patient and provider satisfaction with the CAOS system. Design and Methods: Over a six month period of time during scheduled visits, 90 outpatients at a cancer center will complete symptom measures of pain, fatigue, depression and anxiety while waiting to meet with the oncologist, after which a summary report will be generated and presented to the patient and the patient's oncologist for use during the office visit. Feasibility and satisfaction data will be collected from patient during completion of the symptom assessment at the doctor's office, 2 to 3 days after the office visit via telephone and providers at the end of the data collection period.