Methods: To determine the utility and acceptability to patients and staff of a computerized quality-of-life (QOL) screening program in a tertiary ambulatory cancer pain clinic, patients were administered the computerized EORTC-QLQ-C30 questionnaire. A report summarizing this QOL information was given to clinic staff prior to each patient's appointment. Both the patient and the clinical staff were surveyed afterwards.
Results: Although more than half of the 46 patients had never used a computer before, almost all reported that the program was easy to use and understand, enjoyable, helpful, and quick. Their attitudes toward computers significantly improved from pre- to post-assessment. Staff found the QOL information to be appropriate and useful.
Conclusions: The computerized questionnaire was readily used by patients and was helpful to pain clinic staff, making it an appropriate tool for identifying important QOL problems and issues in busy clinical settings, even for inexperienced computer users with significant functional impairment.