Background: In the outpatient setting, pain management is often inadequate in patients with cancer-related pain, because of patient- and professional-related barriers in communication and infrequent contacts. The internet may provide new opportunities for monitoring these patients. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether internet monitoring of cancer-related pain in outpatients was feasible. Methods: We developed an internet application that contained a pain diary, eConsult, and patient pain education. In the pain diary, patients scored their pain intensity (0–10 Numeric Rating Scale) and analgesic use daily and their side effects twice a week. Feasibility was defined as the percentage of diaries patients completed during the first 6 weeks. Results: We included 100 outpatients. Sixteen were not evaluable due to cognitive problems (2); withdrawal of participation (2); internet problems (2), or because they were too ill (10). During the first 6 weeks, 60% of 84 evaluable patients completed their diary for at least 65% of the days (median number of diaries, 21; range, 3–42) and asked for a median of five eConsults (range, 0–37). Patients most frequently used an eConsult for questions about pain or side effects, how to use their analgesics and to improve their self-management. Over the 6-week period, current pain intensity decreased from 3.3 (SD = 2) to 2.5 (SD = 1.6, p = 0.005), and worst pain intensity decreased from 5.7 (SD = 2) to 3.8 (SD = 2.0, p < 0.001). Conclusion: Internet monitoring of pain is feasible in most outpatients with cancer-related pain. The frequent use of the pain diary in the majority of patients indicates that those patients felt confident with the regular assessment of pain.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Assessment, Cancer, eHealth, Nursing, Pain, Self-management, Telemonitoring
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00520-017-3877-3, hdl.handle.net/1765/102062
Journal Supportive Care in Cancer
Citation
Oldenmenger, W.H, Baan, M.A.G, & van der Rijt, C.C.D. (2017). Development and feasibility of a web application to monitor patients’ cancer-related pain. Supportive Care in Cancer, 1–8. doi:10.1007/s00520-017-3877-3