A pilot study of videotelephone-based support for newly diagnosed paediatric oncology patients and their families

J Telemed Telecare. 2008;14(6):315-21. doi: 10.1258/jtt.2008.080505.


As part of the preparation for a randomized controlled trial, we conducted a pilot study to investigate the feasibility of providing videotelephone-based support to a sample of families (n = 8) with a child diagnosed with cancer, returning home for the first time after diagnosis and initial treatment. Seven of these families received support via videotelephone over a three-month period. Twenty videotelephone calls were made totalling 400 minutes (median 21 min, IQR 16-24). All videotelephone calls involved the specialist nurse providing support to mothers (85%) or fathers (15%) and involved communicating directly with the patient in most of the calls (55%). Social workers were involved in three calls (15%). All families expressed satisfaction with services delivered in this way. There were few technical problems. The use of a hybrid approach to providing videotelephony, using the family home computer and Internet connection for video and the home telephone line for full-duplex audio, was less costly than the custom-made device used in past studies.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Health Services / standards
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Family / psychology
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility / economics
  • Health Services Accessibility / standards*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Oncology Service, Hospital / economics
  • Oncology Service, Hospital / standards*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Pilot Projects
  • Rural Health Services / economics
  • Telemedicine / economics
  • Telemedicine / standards*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Videoconferencing / economics
  • Videoconferencing / statistics & numerical data*