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Assessing the quality, feasibility and efficacy of electronic patient platforms designed to support adolescents and young adults with cancer : a systematic review protocol

Pugh, Gemma and McCann, Lisa (2017) Assessing the quality, feasibility and efficacy of electronic patient platforms designed to support adolescents and young adults with cancer : a systematic review protocol. JMIR Research Protocols, 6 (1).

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Abstract

Background: A range of innovative websites, mobile technologies, eHealth and mHealth platforms have emerged to support adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer. Previous reviews have identified these various applications and solutions, but no review has summarized the quality, feasibility, and efficacy of existing patient platforms (inclusive of websites, mobile technologies, mHealth and eHealth platforms) developed specifically for young people with cancer. Objective: This paper describes the design of a protocol to conduct a review of published studies or reports which describe or report on an existing platform designed specifically for AYAs who have had a cancer diagnosis. Methods: A search string was developed using a variety of key words and Medical Subject Heading and applied to bibliographic databases. General data (sample characteristics, patient platform development, design and, if applicable, pilot testing outcomes) will be extracted from reports and studies. Drawing on a previously developed coding schematic, the identified patient platforms will be coded for mode of delivery into (1) automated functions, (2) communicative functions, and (3) use of supplementary modes. An adapted version of the Mobile App Rating Scale (MARS) will be used to assess the of quality of each identified patient platform. The methodological quality of included studies will be assessed using the Quality Assessment Criteria for Evaluating Primary Research Papers from a Variety of Fields (QualSyst). Both authors will independently screen eligible studies for final inclusion and will both be responsible for data extraction and appraisal. Data will be synthesized narratively to provide an overview of identified patient platforms. Results: The review began in October 2016 and is currently in progress. The review paper will be submitted for peer-review and publication in the summer of 2017. Conclusions: This review will be unique in its focus on assessing, where possible, the quality and efficacy of patient platforms for adolescents and young adults diagnosed with cancer. Results generated from this review will provide an invaluable insight into the utility of modern technology in supporting young people with cancer.