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VOLUME 43 | NUMBER 6 | DECEMBER 2008


Improving Healthcare Efficiency and Quality Using Tablet Personal Computers to Collect Research-Quality, Patient-Reported Data

Objective. To determine whether e/Tablets (wireless tablet computers used in community oncology clinics to collect review of systems information at point of care) are feasible, acceptable, and valid for collecting research-quality data in academic oncology.

Data/Setting. Primary/Duke Breast Cancer Clinic.

Design. Pilot study enrolling sample of 66 breast cancer patients.

Methods. Data were collected using paper- and e/Tablet-based surveys: Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy General, Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Breast, MD Anderson Symptom Inventory, Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy (FACIT), Self-Efficacy; and two questionnaires: feasibility, satisfaction.

Principal Findings. Patients supported e/Tablets as: easy to read (94 percent), easy to respond to (98 percent), comfortable weight (87 percent). Generally, electronic responses validly reflected responses provided by standard paper data collection on nearly all subscales tested.

Conclusions. e/Tablets offer a valid, feasible, acceptable method for collecting research-quality, patient-reported outcomes data in outpatient academic oncology.

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