Using e-Health Technology to Establish a Tailored Survivorship Care Plan for Breast Cancer Survivors

Friday, 28 July 2017

Yu-Lin Wang, BSN
Su-Ying Fang, PhD
Department of Nursing, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan

Background: As breast cancer survivorship increases, patients still have many unmet needs even when they already finished active treatment, including physical symptoms and psychological distress such as lymphedema, fear of recurrence, anxiety, depression and so on. It’s a big challenge to provide survivorship care that meet the expectation of patient under limited human resource for health and time. E-Health technology could be applied to develop individualized information and provide convenient, tailored supportive care to them. 

Purpose:  This study will examine the effect of using e-health technology to establish survivorship care plan in breast cancer survivors.

Methods: Guided by the Cognitive-Social Health Information Processing Model and breast cancer survivorship care guideline, the study establish “Healthy Living with Breast Cancer”, an application on smartphone and also a website for breast cancer survivors. In this study, 270 female breast cancer survivors with TNM stage I to III will be recruited. Participants were randomized to intervention group (received a tailored survivorship care plan by using “Healthy Living with Breast Cancer” plus usual care) or control group (received usual care). Unmet needs, fear of recurrence, symptom distress, anxiety, depression and quality of life will be measured at the beginning of the study then we will follow them at 5 weeks and 3 months later between the two groups. The secondary outcome will explore the patients’ satisfaction of using e-health technology and factors related to effects of the intervention.

Results: Until now we enrolled participants included intervention (n=15) and control (n=18) group in the trial and got the baseline data. We will continue to enroll more patients in this study and follow-up to compare the care needs, fear of recurrence, symptom distress, anxiety, depression and quality of life between the two groups.

Conclusions: We expect using e-health technology as breast cancer survivorship care could decline care needs, fear of recurrence, symptom distress, anxiety and depression in breast cancer survivors then improve their quality of life and will keep track of the effect.