How Did a Multi-Institutional Trial Show Feasibility of Electronic Data Capture in Older Patients With Cancer? Results From a Multi-Institutional Qualitative Study (Alliance A171902).

Journal: JCO Clinical Cancer Informatics

Purpose: New technology might pose problems for older patients with cancer. This study sought to understand how a trial in older patients with cancer (Alliance A171603) was successful in capturing electronic patient-reported data.

Methods: Study personnel were invited via e-mail to participate in semistructured phone interviews, which were audio-recorded and qualitatively analyzed.

Results: Twenty-four study personnel from the 10 sites were interviewed; three themes emerged. The first was that successful patient-reported electronic data capture shifted work toward patients and toward study personnel at the beginning of the study. One interviewee explained, "I mean it kind of lost all advantages…by being extremely laborious." Study personnel described how they ensured electronic devices were charged, wireless internet access was up and running, and login codes were available. The second theme was related to the first and dealt with data filtering. Study personnel described high involvement in data gathering; for example, one interviewee described, "I answered on the iPad, whatever they said. They didn't even want to use it at all." A third theme dealt with advantages of electronic data entry, such as prompt data availability at study completion. Surprisingly, some remarks described how electronic devices brought people together, "Some of the patients, you know, it just gave them a chance to kinda talk about, you know, what was going on."

Conclusion: High rates of capture of patient-reported electronic data were viewed favorably but occurred in exchange for increased effort from patients and study personnel and in exchange for data that were not always patient-reported in the strictest sense.

Nichole Martin, Elizabeth Harlos, Kathryn Cook, Jennifer O'connor, Andrew Dodge, Emily Guerard, Jacqueline Lafky, Aminah Jatoi, Jennifer Le Rademacher