Feasibility of a mobile and web-based intervention to support self-management in outpatients with cancer pain

Laura M. J. Hochstenbach*, Sandra M. G. Zwakhalen, Annemie M. Courtens, Maarten van Kleef, Lucas de Witte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: Cancer pain is a prevalent and distressing symptom. To enhance self-management in outpatients, a multi-component intervention was developed, integrating patient self-management and professional care through healthcare technology. This article describes feasibility of the intervention in everyday practice. Method: Patients with moderate to severe cancer pain (n = 11) and registered nurses specialized in pain and palliative care (n = 3) participated in a four-week study. The intervention involved daily monitoring, graphical feedback, education, and advice by means of a mobile application for patients and a web application for nurses. Learnability, usability and desirability were measured in patients with a 20-item questionnaire (1-5 scale), higher scores indicating better feasibility. Patients' adherence was based on completion rates from server logs. Single semi-structured interviews with patients and a focus group interview with nurses provided insight into experiences. Results: Questionnaire findings confirmed learnability (4.8), usability (4.8) and desirability (4.6) of the application for patients. Average completion rates were 76.8% for pain monitoring, 50.4% for medication monitoring and 100% for education sessions. Interviews revealed that patients were pleased with the simplicity of the mobile application and appreciated different components. Nurses agreed upon the added value and were mostly positive about the possibilities of the web application. Patients and nurses provided ideas for improvements relating to the content and technical performance of the intervention. Conclusions: Study results demonstrate feasibility of the intervention in everyday practice. Provided that content-related and technical adjustments are made, the intervention enables patients with cancer pain to practice self-management and nurses to remotely support these patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-105
JournalEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


  • Neoplasms
  • Pain
  • Outpatients
  • Self-management
  • Nursing
  • eHealth
  • Feasibility


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