Background: Routine symptom and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) assessments can engage patients, give provider feedback, and improve doctor/patient communication. Objective: We compared the impact of a technology-assisted symptom monitoring system versus usual care on HRQOL and doctor/patient communication in early-stage prostate cancer (PCa) survivors. Methods: Men (N = 94) were on average 62-years old, mostly African American (AA; 61.7%), and 10-19 months post-treatment. They were randomized to symptom monitoring plus feedback (SM+F; n = 49) or usual care (UC; n = 45). SM+F participants completed a 12-item telephone-assisted monitoring intervention. All participants completed a baseline and 2 follow-up interviews. Results: Among the SM+F participants, perceptions of the monitoring system were positive: 97.1% endorsed it as easy/very easy to use and 85% felt all patients could benefit from it. At baseline, men reported favorable general and cancer-specific HRQOL and doctor/patient communication, but poorer urinary and sexual function. Although there was no overall impact of the intervention, post hoc exploratory analyses indicated that among AA men, those who received SM+F improved relative to UC on doctor/patient communication (P < .05), general HRQOL (P < .06), and sexual function (P < .05). Limitations: Variability in survivor follow-up care, limited access to eligible participants, and minimal physician training in the use of reports likely decreased physician investment. Conclusion: Overall, PCa survivors were receptive to this monitoring system. Exploratory analyses suggest that this technologyassisted monitoring system may be of particular benefit to African American men. Additional studies with larger samples, more intervention time-points, and increased physician training are needed to strengthen the intervention's impact.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)