Closing the information gap: Web-based PROs systems hold promise in supportive cancer care
TYPICAL CARE CAN GENERATE AN INCOMPLETE VIEW OF A CANCER PATIENT’S EXPERIENCES.
Patients with cancer suffer from disease and treatment related symptoms. Many of these clinically- relevant details are often missed or forgotten as these patient-reported outcomes (PROs) are typically only discussed at clinic visits. “Prior research has shown that doctors miss up to half of patients’ symptoms during cancer treatment,” noted medical oncologist Ethan Basch Director of the UNC Lineberger Cancer Outcomes Research Program and an Associate Professor of UNC School of Medicine Division of Hematology and Oncology . Symptoms can also arise from medical comorbidities, such as diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), especially with an aging population . Greater diversity of expertise is needed to address these added complexities. Results from a comorbidity study in skin cancer patients suggest that patient-reported questionnaires may better identify any coexisting disorders (n=44; 79.5% and 88.6% by traditional medical interview and patient-reported questionnaire, respectively) even when there are discordant observations .