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Cancer Clinicians’ Views Regarding an App That Helps Patients With Cancer Meet Their Information Needs: Qualitative Interview Study

Richards, Rebecca, Kinnersley, Paul, Brain, Katherine and Wood, Fiona 2021. Cancer Clinicians’ Views Regarding an App That Helps Patients With Cancer Meet Their Information Needs: Qualitative Interview Study. JMIR Cancer 7 (2) , e23671. 10.2196/23671

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Background: Many patients with cancer have unmet information needs during the course of the illness. Smart devices, such as smartphones and tablet computers, provide an opportunity to deliver information to patients remotely. We aim to develop an app intervention to help patients with cancer meet their illness-related information needs in noninpatient settings. In addition to the in-depth exploration of the issues faced by the target users of a potential intervention, it is important to gain an understanding of the context in which the intervention will be used and the potential influences on its adoption. As such, understanding the views of clinicians is key to the successful implementation of this type of app in practice. Additionally, clinicians have an awareness of their patients’ needs and can provide further insight into the type of app and features that might be most beneficial. Objective: This study aims to explore cancer clinicians’ views on this type of intervention and whether they would support the use of an app in cancer care. Specifically, the perceived acceptability of an app used in consultations, useful app features, the potential benefits and disadvantages of an app, and barriers to app use were explored. Methods: A total of 20 qualitative, semistructured interviews were conducted with 22 clinicians from urological, colorectal, breast, or gynecological cancer clinics across 2 hospitals in South Wales. The interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using thematic analysis. Results: Clinicians felt that it would be acceptable for patients to use such an app in noninpatient settings, including during consultations. The benefits of this type of app were anticipated to be a more informed patient, an increased sense of control for patients, better doctor-patient communication, and a more efficient and effective consultation. In contrast, an increase in clinicians’ workload and poorer communication in consultations, which depended on the included app features, were identified as potential disadvantages. The anticipated barriers to app use included patients’ age and prior experience with smart technology, their access to smart devices, the confidentiality of information, and an avoidant coping approach to their condition. Conclusions: This study suggests that clinicians should support their patients in using an app to help them meet their information needs both at home and during consultations. This study highlights some of the potential barriers for this type of intervention in practice, which could be minimized during the intervention design process.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: JMIR
ISSN: 2369-1999
Funders: Tenovus Cancer Care
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 April 2021
Date of Acceptance: 28 March 2021
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2022 06:57

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