Implementation and first results of a tablet-based assessment referring to patient-reported outcomes in an inpatient cancer care unit

Z Evid Fortbild Qual Gesundhwes. 2017 Apr:121:64-72. doi: 10.1016/j.zefq.2017.03.007. Epub 2017 Apr 1.


Background: Inclusion of patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in routine cancer care is of key importance for individualized treatment, shared decision making and patient satisfaction.

Objective: To describe the implementation under routine conditions of an electronic self-administered PRO assessment and comparison of PROs before and after inpatient treatment in oncologic care.

Methods: In a tablet-based survey PROs on symptom burden, global health status/ quality of life (QoL) and health utility were collected twice (at hospital admission and discharge) in an inpatient oncological setting over a 17-month period using the EORTC QLQ-C30 and EQ-5D questionnaires. Data were linked to the hospital information system (HIS). Patient acceptability, recruitment rates, symptom burden, and clinically meaningful changes in PROs over time were analyzed.

Results: From a total of 384 hospitalized patients invited to participate at admission 371 (96.6 %) participated. At discharge, 195 patients were approached for a follow-up assessment, and 192 patients (98.5 %) participated. Despite strong acceptance among patients, recruitment rates were decreasing over time. During the hospital stay clinically meaningful improvements were observed for health utility (33.3 %, n = 64) and global health status/QoL (43.2 %, n = 83). Patients reported a variety of symptoms at admission and discharge.

Conclusions: Implementation of PRO assessment in routine care and data integration into the HIS provides valuable information for the entire medical staff as symptom burden is present during the entire hospital stay.

Implications for practice: Long-term maintenance of PRO assessment in a clinical setting as a prerequisite of value-based healthcare requires continuous involvement of the nursing team, which can only be achieved by allocating resources to this task.

Keywords: Implementierung; Lebensqualität; Routineversorgung; implementation study; patient-reported outcomes; patientenberichtete Outcomes; quality of life; routine care.

MeSH terms

  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Inpatients*
  • Oncology Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures*
  • Quality of Life
  • Surveys and Questionnaires