Co-creation of an ICT-supported cancer rehabilitation application for resected lung cancer survivors: design and evaluation

Josien G. Timmerman, Thijs M. Tönis, Marit G. H. Dekker-van Weering, Martijn M. Stuiver, Michel W. J. M. Wouters, Wim H. van Harten, Hermie J. Hermens, Miriam M. R. Vollenbroek-Hutten

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36 Citations (Scopus)


Lung cancer (LC) patients experience high symptom burden and significant decline of physical fitness and quality of life following lung resection. Good quality of survivorship care post-surgery is essential to optimize recovery and prevent unscheduled healthcare use. The use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can improve post-surgery care, as it enables frequent monitoring of health status in daily life, provides timely and personalized feedback to patients and professionals, and improves accessibility to rehabilitation programs. Despite its promises, implementation of telehealthcare applications is challenging, often hampered by non-acceptance of the developed service by its end-users. A promising approach is to involve the end-users early and continuously during the developmental process through a so-called user-centred design approach. The aim of this article is to report on this process of co-creation and evaluation of a multimodal ICT-supported cancer rehabilitation program with and for lung cancer patients treated with lung resection and their healthcare professionals (HCPs). A user-centered design approach was used. Through semi-structured interviews (n = 10 LC patients and 6 HCPs), focus groups (n = 5 HCPs), and scenarios (n = 5 HCPs), user needs and requirements were elicited. Semi-structured interviews and the System Usability Scale (SUS) were used to evaluate usability of the telehealthcare application with 7 LC patients and 10 HCPs. The developed application consists of: 1) self-monitoring of symptoms and physical activity using on-body sensors and a smartphone, and 2) a web based physical exercise program. 71 % of LC patients and 78 % of HCPs were willing to use the application as part of lung cancer treatment. Accessibility of data via electronic patient records was essential for HCPs. LC patients regarded a positive attitude of the HCP towards the application essential. Overall, the usability (SUS median score = 70, range 35-95) was rated acceptable. A telehealthcare application that facilitates symptom monitoring and physical fitness training is considered a useful tool to further improve recovery following surgery of resected lung cancer (LC) patients. Involvement of end users in the design process appears to be necessary to optimize chances of adoption, compliance and implementation of telemedicine
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155
JournalBMC health services research
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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