The acceptability of e-technology to monitor and assess patient symptoms following palliative radiotherapy for lung cancer

Palliat Med. 2011 Oct;25(7):675-81. doi: 10.1177/0269216311399489. Epub 2011 Apr 7.


E-technology is increasingly used in oncology to obtain self-reported symptom assessment information from patients, although its potential to provide a clinical monitoring tool in palliative care is relatively unexplored in the UK. This study aimed to evaluate the support provided to lung cancer patients post palliative radiotherapy using a computerized assessment tool and to determine the clinical acceptability of the tool in a palliative care setting. However, of the 17 clinicians identified as managing patients who met the initial eligibility criteria for the study, only one clinician gave approval for their patient to be contacted regarding participation, therefore the benefits of this novel technology could not be assessed. Thirteen key clinicians from the centres involved in the study were subsequently interviewed. They acknowledged potential benefits of incorporating computerized patient assessment from both a patient and practice perspective, but emphasized the importance of clinical intuition over standardized assessment. Although clinicians were positive about palliative care patients participating in research, they felt that this population of patients were normally too old, with too rapidly deteriorating a condition to participate in a study using e-technology. In order to encourage acceptance of e-technology within palliative care, emphasis is needed on actively promoting the contribution of technologies with the potential to improve patient outcomes and the patient experience.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Computers, Handheld*
  • Continuity of Patient Care
  • Decision Making
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Lung Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Palliative Care / methods*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Radiotherapy*
  • Self-Assessment
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Telemedicine / instrumentation*
  • Telemedicine / methods
  • United Kingdom