Cancer and its treatments cause a variety of symptoms that decrease quality of life and can even be life-threatening. Symptoms such as pain, nausea and vomiting, fever, fatigue, and weakness frequently occur while patients are at home in between their clinic visits. Patients and their family members are often ill-prepared to evaluate and manage these symptoms themselves. As a consequence, poorly controlled symptoms frequently result in emergency department visits and unplanned hospitalizations.
To address this problem, Huntsman Cancer Institute investigator Kathi Mooney, PhD, RN, and her colleague, Susan Beck, PhD, APRN, developed Symptom Care at Home, an automated, remote-monitoring platform that assesses 11 symptoms at home, provides automated self-management coaching based on the symptom severity reported, and automatically alerts the clinical team about symptoms requiring further intervention. An electronic decision support dashboard guides the clinical team in intensifying symptom care based on evidence-based practice guidelines. Tested through randomized controlled trials, this technology-aided solution has resulted in dramatic reductions in patients’ symptoms as well as improvements in the well-being of family caregivers.
Automated home monitoring and management of patient-reported symptoms during chemotherapy: results of the symptom care at home RCT. Mooney K, Beck SL, Wong B, Dunson W, Wujcik D, Whisenant M, Donaldson G. Cancer Med. 2017 Mar;6(3):537-546.
Symptom Care @ Home: developing an integrated symptom monitoring and management system for outpatients receiving chemotherapy. Beck SL, Eaton LH, Echeverria C, Mooney K. Comput Inform Nurs. 2017 Oct;35(10):520-529.
Symptom Care at Home: a comprehensive and pragmatic PRO system approach to improve cancer symptom care. Mooney K, Whisenant MS, Beck SL. Med Care. 2019 May;57 Suppl 5 Suppl 1:S66-S72.