Assessing the Acceptability of Home Blood Monitoring for Patients With Cancer Who Are Receiving Systemic Anticancer Therapy From a Patient, Caregiver, and Clinician Perspective: Focus Group and Interview Study

Amy Vercell, Sally Taylor, Janelle Yorke, Dawn Dowding

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Regular blood testing is an integral part of systemic anticancer therapy delivery. Blood tests are required before every administration of treatment to ensure that a patient is sufficiently well to receive it. Blood testing is burdensome for patients as they require either an extra visit within 48 hours of planned administration of treatment or a significantly long visit if performed on the day of treatment. The additional time for appointments can have a significant impact on the quality of life of someone who is living with cancer. In the United Kingdom, the COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented disruption to the delivery of cancer care. Face-to-face hospital visits were reduced, resulting in the need to develop more innovative ways of working to minimize treatment interruptions. This led to significant uptake of digital technologies, with new models of care rapidly deployed across the UK health service to meet these challenges. Objective: This study aimed to explore the acceptability of a point-of-care home blood monitoring device for people with cancer who are receiving systemic anticancer therapy, which is being developed in response to the increased need for remote care for patients with cancer. Methods: Qualitative focus groups and semistructured interviews were conducted with patients (23/47, 49%), caregivers (6/47, 13%), and health care professionals (18/47, 38%) over a 19-month time frame from May 2019 to December 2020. Data were analyzed using framework analysis guided by the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology model. Results: Analysis identified 4 overarching themes: performance expectancy, effort expectancy, social influence, and facilitating conditions. Conclusions: This study found that patients with cancer, their caregivers, and health care professionals had positive perceptions about home blood monitoring. Although they are often considered synonymously, self-testing and self-management are not mutually exclusive, and this study illustrated some disparity in opinions regarding patient self-management. Home blood monitoring has the potential to provide patients with cancer with a convenient option for blood monitoring. It would minimize hospital attendances, decrease late treatment deferrals, and provide prompt recognition of cancer treatment toxicities, thus enhancing the existing nurse-led protocols and clinical pathways. Home blood monitoring would create a long-term sustainable transformation for the delivery of cancer care, using digital health to act as a facilitator to address a pertinent issue regarding improving the efficiency of hospital resources and increasing the delivery of personalized patient care. Further studies are needed to determine how and where home blood monitoring would fit within clinical pathways, in a way that is robust and equitable.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere39815
JournalJMIR Nursing
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • chemotherapy
  • digital nursing
  • digital technology
  • mobile phone
  • nurse-led care
  • oncology
  • point-of-care systems
  • self-management
  • self-testing
  • systemic anticancer therapy
  • telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing

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