eRAPID electronic patient self-Reporting of Adverse-events: Patient Information and aDvice: a pilot study protocol in pelvic radiotherapy

Pilot Feasibility Stud. 2018 Jun 5;4:110. doi: 10.1186/s40814-018-0304-6. eCollection 2018.


Background: An estimated 17,000 patients are treated annually in the UK with radical radiotherapy (RT) for pelvic cancer. New treatment approaches in RT have increased survivorship and changed the subjective toxicity profile for patients who experience acute and long-term pelvic-related adverse events (AE). Multi-disciplinary follow-up creates difficulty for monitoring and responding to these events during treatment and beyond. Originally developed for use in systemic oncology therapy eRAPID (electronic patient self-Reporting of Adverse-events: Patient Information and aDvice) is an online system for patients to report AEs from home. eRAPID enables patient data to be integrated into the electronic patient records for use in clinical practice, provides patient management advice for mild and moderate AE and advice to contact the hospital for severe AE. The system has now been developed for pelvic RT patients, and we aim to test the intervention in a pilot study with staff and patients to inform a future randomised controlled trial (RCT).

Methods: Eligible patients are those attending St James's University hospital cancer centre and The Christie Hospital Manchester undergoing pelvic radiotherapy+/-chemotherapy/hormonotherapy for prostate, lower gastrointestinal and gynaecological cancers. A prospective 1:1 randomised (intervention or usual care) parallel group design with repeated measures and mixed methods will be employed. We aim to recruit 168 patients following recommendations for sample size estimates for pilot studies. Participants using eRAPID will report AE (at least weekly) from home weekly for 6 weeks and 6 weeks post-treatment (12-week total) then at 18 and 24 weeks. Hospital staff will review eRAPID reports and use information during consultations. Notifications will be sent to the relevant clinical team when severe symptoms are reported. We will measure patient-reported outcomes using validated questionnaires (Functional Assessment in Cancer Therapy Scale-General (FACT-G), European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Core Quality of Life questionnaire (EORTC-QLQ-C30), process of care impact (hospital records of patient contacts and admissions) and economic variables (EQ5D-5L, patient use of resources)). Staff and patient experiences will be explored via semi-structured interviews.

Discussion: The objectives are to establish feasibility, recruitment, integrity of the system and attrition rates, determine effect sizes and aid selection of the primary outcome measure for a future RCT. We will also refine the intervention by exploring staff and patient views. The overall goal of this complex intervention is to improve the safe delivery of cancer treatments, enhance patient care and standardise documentation of AE within the clinical datasets.

Trial registration: NCT02747264.

Keywords: Adverse events; Cancer; Chemoradiotherapy; Electronic; Electronic health records; Internet; Intervention; Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs); Patient-reported outcomes (PROs); Radiotherapy; Self-management.

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