Electronic patient-reported outcome (ePRO) follow-up for ovarian cancer was feasible, but only acceptable to certain patients, according to a recent single-arm study.
Fiona Kennedy, of Leeds Institute of Medical Research at St James’s, University of Leeds, United Kingdom, and colleagues evaluated the use of ePRO among women who had completed treatment for ovarian cancer whose clinician was happy for them to be monitored remotely.
For remote monitoring, the patients received three monthly reminders to complete an ePRO questionnaire and obtain blood tests. Participants were then reviewed over the phone by their clinical nurse specialist instead of attending clinic-based follow-up.
“It is important to note that ovarian cancer is mainly a disease of older women, and therefore evaluating the feasibility of a web-based electronic system in this context is very important,” the researchers wrote.
Of the 48 women approached for the study, 24 women consented (50% consent rate). At 12 months, only 13 women remained on study. The main reason for declining participation was wanting face-to-face follow-up (35.4%).
Seven women relapsed, three chose to withdraw, and one withdrew for other clinical reasons.
The researchers reported that ePRO compliance was high and consistent at between 75% to 82%. However, they noted that compliance was different at the two hospitals participating in the study.
The majority (65.2%) of participants had four or more blood tests during the study. The researchers noted that “withdrawals and change in blood test protocol during the COVID-19 pandemic affected some participants’ total number of tests.”
On average, feasibility participants had one face-to-face hospital visit during the study. The number of phone calls varied between 0 and 10, with a mean of 5.57.
“The results demonstrate a mixed picture, with high ineligibility in ovarian patients immediately post-treatment, 50% consent rate, but low attrition (3/24=12.5%), high compliance (~75-82% of expected ePRO completions), and positive feedback amongst participants,” the researchers wrote. “Flexible approaches for remote symptom monitoring during follow-up are likely to be needed in the future, and therefore, further careful developments and robust evaluations are warranted.”