Aim: Patient reported outcomes (PROs) are important tools to identify unmet needs in cancer. However, many cancer services do not screen for unmet needs, and the approach used by those that do may lack coordination and rigour. Consequently, patients may experience distress and poor health outcomes. The aim is to implement and evaluate a system of PROs assessment using a web-based portal called iSCREEN, to identify and address unmet needs of cancer patients at Flinders Medical Centre (FMC), South Australia.
Methods: This study will use a mixed methods study design, comprised of three stages: (1) co-design, (2) implementation and (3) evaluation. Stage 1 will involve: adaptation of the ADAPT portal [developed by the Psycho-oncology Co-operative Research Group (PoCoG) to reduce the impact of anxiety and depression]; stakeholder consultation; and refinement. Stakeholders will include fourteen cancer care coordinators (CCCs) and up to 10 patients from FMC who will provide feedback via multiple rounds of semi-structured focus groups and/or interviews, including usability testing. Feedback will inform portal refinement. In stage 2, iSCREEN will be offered as standard care to approximately 100 new patients expected to attend FMC cancer services over 6-8 months. In stage 3 (evaluation), outcome measures will be acceptability, feasibility, cost and safety; assessed via analysis of data from portal metrics, case-notes, and survey and audio-recorded and transcribed focus groups/interviews (patients and staff). Qualitative data analysis will involve coding and identification of themes according to study aims. Descriptive statistics will be used to analyse quantitative data.
Results: It is expected iSCREEN will be safe, feasible, cost-effective and acceptable to users.
Conclusions: As this study will provide important data to inform the scale-up of PRO screening across other sites in South Australia, it has potential to reduce the impact of unmet needs and to improve health outcomes in this population.