Improving health care efficiency and quality using tablet personal computers to collect research-quality, patient-reported data

Health Serv Res. 2008 Dec;43(6):1975-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6773.2008.00887.x. Epub 2008 Aug 28.


Objective: To determine whether e/Tablets (wireless tablet computers used in community oncology clinics to collect review of systems information at point of care) are feasible, acceptable, and valid for collecting research-quality data in academic oncology. DATA/SETTING: Primary/Duke Breast Cancer Clinic.

Design: Pilot study enrolling sample of 66 breast cancer patients.

Methods: Data were collected using paper- and e/Tablet-based surveys: Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy General, Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Breast, MD Anderson Symptom Inventory, Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy (FACIT), Self-Efficacy; and two questionnaires: feasibility, satisfaction.

Principal findings: Patients supported e/Tablets as: easy to read (94 percent), easy to respond to (98 percent), comfortable weight (87 percent). Generally, electronic responses validly reflected responses provided by standard paper data collection on nearly all subscales tested.

Conclusions: e/Tablets offer a valid, feasible, acceptable method for collecting research-quality, patient-reported outcomes data in outpatient academic oncology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms
  • Efficiency, Organizational*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Medical Oncology
  • Microcomputers*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Point-of-Care Systems
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires