Low and middle income countries are experiencing a substantial increase in cancer incidence, with India very much in the epicenter of this explosive growth. A large percentage of cancers are detected at a late stage in India, and active engagement of primary care providers can have a significant impact on cancer outcomes. There is low level of awareness of cancer risk factors, symptoms, and appropriate use of screening approaches for early detection of cancers among primary care providers. Mobile health based oncology education can serve as a powerful tool for offering e-learning opportunities to physicians, as mobile technology is widely available and inexpensive, and it can provide training on demand. We propose to develop a mobile application (M-OncoED) to educate physicians on cancer risk factors, symptoms, and screening approaches.
The specific aims are the following:
Aim 1 : Develop a mobile health intervention package (M-OncoED) to educate primary care physicians on cancer risk factors, patient symptoms, screening approaches, and benefits of early detection.
Aim 2 : Test the feasibility and acceptability of M-OncoED in increasing physician knowledge of cancer screening and early detection and compare physician preferences for structured versus unstructured education modules.
Aim 3 : Perform preliminary assessment of whether M-OncoED changes physician behavior as measured by increased rate of recommendations for screening and diagnostic testing. We have assembled a multidisciplinary team of researchers with expertise in mobile technology development, evaluation research, and oncology training. RTI international will collaborate with the World Health Organization and Indian partners, including Studio Medica, Snehita Women's Health Foundation, Sree Gokulam Medical College, Government of Kerala, and the Indian Medical Association to implement the intervention. Successful completion of the study aims will provide the evidence base for using mobile applications to train providers to improve oncology care. This study will also lay the foundations to design and conduct large scale studies to further refine the mobile application and systematically assess the impact of the training tool in changing physician behavior to reduce the burden from cancer. Furthermore, the M- OncoED application will serve as a platform for expanding features to provide training to a wider group of providers, including nurses and community health workers. The framework provided in this grant application can be used to tailor the mobile application as required to be successfully deployed in other settings.

Public Health Relevance

Low and middle income countries are experiencing a substantial increase in cancer incidence. There is low level of awareness of cancer risk factors, symptoms, and appropriate use of screening approaches for early detection of cancers among primary care providers. Mobile health based oncology education can serve as a powerful tool for offering e-learning opportunities to physicians, as mobile technology is widely available, inexpensive, and can provide training on demand. We will develop a mobile application to train providers to improve oncology care and assess the feasibility and acceptability of this approach.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Type
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
Project #
5R21CA224387-02
Application #
9614279
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
Program Officer
Vedham, Vidya
Project Start
2017-12-15
Project End
2019-11-30
Budget Start
2018-12-01
Budget End
2019-11-30
Support Year
2
Fiscal Year
2019
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
Research Triangle Institute
Department
Type
DUNS #
004868105
City
Research Triangle
State
NC
Country
United States
Zip Code
27709