Project Persist: mHealth for Cancer Survivorship

2019-10-21 12:45:40 | BioPortfolio


Many studies have shown that anxiety and depression are associated with reduced treatment adherence and poor treatment outcomes among patients undergoing cancer treatments. Given the negative consequences of psychological symptoms for cancer patients, it is important to effectively identify and address emotional distress among cancer patients. However, many barriers exist that limit access to effective treatments. Mobile health (mHealth) technologies offer the potential for remote monitoring and on demand management of psychological needs among cancer patients. This pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) will assess the initial feasibility of a phone-delivered intervention for anxiety and depressive symptoms among cancer patients that are receiving active radiation treatments. A total of 60 participants will be randomized to in-person and smartphone-based assessment only (n=30) or assessment plus smartphone-based intervention (n=30). Both groups will be followed for 8 weeks (6 weeks while undergoing radiation therapy for breast or gynecological cancer + 2 weeks following radiation therapy). It is expected that patients who are randomized to the intervention group will report that the smartphone app is easy to use, app content is useful, and will show greater improvements in reported anxiety, depression, and quality of life compared with the assessment only group. Data from this pilot study will be used to inform the development of mHealth interventions that will be tested in future fully powered RCTs.


A total of 60 individuals will be recruited from the OU Medicine Radiation Oncology Clinic (radiation clinic). All participants will be adults who are beginning radiation treatments for breast, gynecological, and head and neck cancers. Eligible participants include adult males and females 18+ who are: 1) community dwelling, 2) diagnosed with a primary breast or gynecological or head and neck cancer, 3) ordered to receive radiation treatments during a minimum of 6 consecutive weeks, and 4) able to read at the 7th grade level, speak, and write English. Exclusion criteria include: 1) radiation treatment with primary palliative intent, 2) radiation treatment protocol occurring in a time period of less than 6 weeks, 3) severe visual impairment that limits mobile technology use (e.g, partial or full blindness), and 4) history of dementia or other major neurocognitive disorder. Potential participants will be referred to this study for screening from multiple sources including from radiation clinic staff and self-referral. Eligible participants will be identified by radiation oncologists and other radiation clinic staff during initial consult visit, who will alert study staff of potential participants. Flyers will also be used to advertise the study to potential study participants, who can discuss enrollment with radiation oncologists. Those interested in participating in this study will complete the informed consent process. Those who meet the study inclusion criteria will be randomized into the assessment only group (n=30) or the assessment + intervention group (n=30). All participants will complete a baseline assessment visit which includes completion of study questionnaires, downloading the study smartphone app onto personal or study provided smartphones, and training to complete the phone based surveys (EMAs). Consent, baseline assessment, and mobile health training will take place in a private or semi-private space in the radiation clinic and is estimated to take 60-90 minutes to complete. Radiation oncology providers will be blinded to patient group assignment, which will occur during the baseline visit. Participants will complete EMAs for 8 weeks. At the end of the 8-week data collection period, participants will complete a final study survey using the study smartphone application and participate in a telephone interview.

Study Design


Symptom Management


Assessment only group, Intervention group


Not yet recruiting


University of Oklahoma

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2019-10-21T12:45:40-0400

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