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Keywords:

  • cancer;
  • chemotherapy;
  • information technology;
  • management of symptoms

Chemotherapy forms a core component of treatment for the majority patients with cancer. Recent changes in cancer services mean patients frequently receive such treatment as outpatients and are often required to manage side effects at home without direct support from oncology health professionals. Information technology continues to develop to support patients in the community; this study evaluated the impact of a mobile phone-based advanced symptom management system (ASyMS©) on chemotherapy related toxicity in patients with lung, breast or colorectal cancer. One hundred and twelve patients were randomized from seven clinical sites across the UK; 56 patients used the mobile phone to record their symptoms, sending their reports directly to the nurses at their clinical site; 56 control group patients received standard care. Health professionals were alerted about any severe or life-threatening symptoms through the development of a chemotherapy symptom risk model. Patients’ perceptions of ASyMS© were evaluated pre and post participation. Patients reported many benefits of using ASyMS© including improved communication with health professionals, improvements in the management of their symptoms, and feeling reassured their symptoms were being monitored while at home. ASyMS© has the potential to positively impact on the management of symptoms in patients receiving chemotherapy treatment.