Purpose: The purpose of the study was to compare completeness, timeliness and cost of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) collection using telephone, email and post in men with prostate cancer.
Methods: A parallel, three-arm randomised controlled equivalence trial. 1168 patients were randomised to telephone (n = 295), postal (n = 388) and email (n = 385) arms. Participants were asked to provide self-reported responses for 26 items of Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite. Cost and resource data were collected from a provider perspective.
Results: Equivalence tests showed no difference in completeness in the three arms within a 10% equivalence margin. Men diagnosed in public hospitals were less likely to complete the survey compared to those in private hospitals, OR = 0.19 (95% CI 0.04-0.89) (p = 0.035). The email survey required significantly less time to complete than telephone and postal methods [median time of 2 min (IQR 1,8) vs. 7 min (IQR 6,9) vs. 10 min (IQR 9,12), respectively (p < 0.001)]. The incremental cost effectiveness ratio for email compared to telephone was AUD$1.90, cost-effective if users valued an additional 1% improvement in survey completion greater than AUD$1.90.
Conclusion: Email method took less time and cost and should be used as the primary PROMs collection, with telephone if men without email or do not respond to email.
Keywords: Data collection methods; Email; Intention to treat; Patient-reported outcomes; Postal; Randomised controlled trial; Telephone.