Developing a useful, user-friendly website for cancer patient follow-up: users' perspectives on ease of access and usefulness

Authors

  • Y.K. BARTLETT BSC, MSC, PHD STUDENT,

    1. School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield, Sheffield
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  • D.L. SELBY BSC, PHD STUDENT,

    1. Psychology Department, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds
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  • A. NEWSHAM BA, MA, SENIOR DATABASE MANAGER AND DATABASE DEVELOPER,

    1. Psychosocial Oncology and Clinical Practice Research Group, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
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  • A. KEDING BSC, MSC, MSC, STATISTICIAN,

    1. Psychosocial Oncology and Clinical Practice Research Group, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
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  • D. FORMAN BA, PHD, FFPHM, SECTION HEAD,

    1. Section of Cancer Information, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France
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  • J. BROWN MSC, DIRECTOR,

    1. Clinical Trials Research Unit, Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine, Leeds
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  • G. VELIKOVA MBBS, PHD, PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOSOCIAL AND MEDICAL ONCOLOGY/CONSULTANT MEDICAL ONCOLOGY,

    1. Psychosocial Oncology and Clinical Practice Research Group, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
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  • P. WRIGHT BSC, MSC, PHD, MACMILLAN PRINCIPAL RESEARCH FELLOW

    Corresponding author
    1. Psychosocial Oncology and Clinical Practice Research Group, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
      Penny Wright, Psychosocial Oncology and Clinical Practice Research Group, Level 3, Bexley wing, St James's Institute of Oncology, Beckett Street, Leeds LS9 7TF, UK (e-mail: e.p.wright@leeds.ac.uk).
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Penny Wright, Psychosocial Oncology and Clinical Practice Research Group, Level 3, Bexley wing, St James's Institute of Oncology, Beckett Street, Leeds LS9 7TF, UK (e-mail: e.p.wright@leeds.ac.uk).

Abstract

BARTLETT Y.K., SELBY D.L., NEWSHAM A., KEDING A., FORMAN D., BROWN J., VELIKOVA G. & WRIGHT P. (2012) European Journal of Cancer Care

Developing a useful, user-friendly website for cancer patient follow-up: users' perspectives on ease of access and usefulness

UK cancer survival has improved, leading to an increase in review patients and pressure on clinics. Use of the Internet for information exchange between patients and healthcare staff may provide a useful adjunct or alternative to traditional follow-up. This study aimed to develop and evaluate a website for use in follow-up cancer care in terms of usability, feasibility and acceptability. A website was developed and underwent iterative amendment following patient usability testing in focus groups. Patients on follow-up completed a Computer and Internet Usage Questionnaire. Internet users consented to a randomised crossover study to complete paper and online questionnaires, browse the website and participate in a website evaluation interview. Patient website use was tracked. Usability: Website changes were made following patient testing (n= 21). Patients would have liked a ‘personalized’ website with links to their clinical team, out with the scope of this study. Feasibility: The majority of participants (65%) had Internet access. Age remained a differentiating factor. Acceptability: Final evaluation (n= 103) was positive although many would like to maintain face-to-face hospital contact. User involvement in website design can ensure patient needs are met. A website model for follow-up will suit some patients but others will prefer clinical contact.

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