Utilization of the medical research council evaluation framework in the development of technology for symptom management: the ASyMS©-YG study

Faith Gibson, Susie Aldiss, Rachel M. Taylor, Roma Maguire, Lisa McCann, Meurig Sage, Nora Kearney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Technology is becoming an important medium for supporting patients in health care. However, successful application depends on user acceptability. The Advanced Symptom Management System (ASyMS©) involves patients reporting cancer chemotherapy-related symptoms using mobile phone technology. Objective: The aim of this article was to report a study of how young people were involved in the development of ASyMS© using the Medical Research Council framework for evaluating complex interventions. Methods: A convenience sample of young people aged 13 to 18 years undergoing cancer chemotherapy were recruited from 2 principal cancer treatment centers in London. Results: In phase 1, young people selected 5 symptoms from an adapted version of the Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale that were most important to them. In phase 2, young people completed the ASyMS©-YG PDA (personal digital assistant) questionnaire daily on days 1 to 14 of a cycle of chemotherapy and pre/post-use questionnaires. In phase 1, 5 young people chose diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and weight loss as the most important symptoms. In phase 2, 25 young people reported positively to using PDA technology, found ASyMS©-YG simple and easy to complete, and liked that they were monitored at home. In addition to the 5 core symptoms, the ASyMS©-YG reports showed the number (n = 37) of other symptoms young people experienced. CONCLUSIONS:: This early development work indicates the acceptability of ASyMS©-YG and has informed an exploratory trial (phase 3) and randomized controlled trial (stage 4). Implications for practice: This study reaffirms the importance of promoting communication between young people and health professionals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-352
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Nursing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • chemotherapy
  • information technology
  • self-care
  • symptom management
  • young people

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