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.

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Keywords Assessment, Cancer, eHealth, Nursing, Pain, Self-management, Telemonitoring
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Journal Supportive Care in Cancer
Oldenmenger, W.H, Baan, M.A.G, & van der Rijt, C.C.D. (2018). Development and feasibility of a web application to monitor patients’ cancer-related pain. Supportive Care in Cancer, 26(2), 635–642. doi:10.1007/s00520-017-3877-3