Objectives: Changes in cancer services to out-patient care have resulted in patients spending limited time in hospital. The use of IT within healthcare has seen the development of innovative ways to support patients in the community. This study aimed to test the procedures and technical systems involved in using an advanced symptom management system (ASyMS) in the home monitoring and symptom management of patients receiving chemotherapy. Patients and methods: Ten patients were recruited from two centres in Scotland. Patients in the intervention group used the mobile phone to record and send their symptom reports to their hospital and receive self-care advice, while the control group received standard care. A risk model was developed which alerted health professionals of symptoms that were severe or life threatening. Patient and professional perceptions were evaluated throughout. Main results: Patients believed that the ASyMS system improved the management of their symptoms and felt reassured they were being monitored at home. Health professionals also found the system beneficial in the management of symptoms and the promotion of timely interventions. The full randomised controlled trial is now underway. Conclusion: The ASyMS system has the potential to improve the management of symptoms in patients with cancer receiving chemotherapy.
- information technology
- symptom management