In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an opportunity to rapidly flex platforms for remote cancer symptom tracking and management to incorporate COVID-19 symptom monitoring and reinforce risk-reducing precautions. It is critical for cancer patients at home to monitor early indications of COVID-19 symptoms, to adhere to mitigation strategies, as well as to manage their cancer-related symptoms so that they can decrease the need to utilize the emergency department or unplanned hospitalizations for symptom care, which is a common occurrence during cancer care. Remote monitoring adds a layer of home-based support which can benefit all cancer patients and is not restricted to geographic proximity to oncology providers or distance from a cancer center. Our Symptom Care at Home (SCH) system, utilized for our currently funded R01CA206522 project to monitor and manage patient-reported (PRO) cancer symptoms, includes these necessary elements: remote PRO symptom monitoring, patient self-management information, and oncology provider (nurse practitioner) notification of symptoms exceeding pre-set thresholds. We propose adding two aims to R01CA206522 in response to PA-18-935 Urgent Competitive Revision to an Existing NIH Grant. The overall purpose of this supplement is to describe the impacts of COVID-19 on cancer patients? well-being at home and evaluate, through a randomized clinical trial, if a systematic patient-reported outcomes (PRO) reporting process improves cancer care during a pandemic as compared to usual care.
Specific Aims i nclude: 1) describe patient-reported COVID-19 and cancer symptom trajectories over time, COVID-19 social distancing and hygiene practices, and COVID-19 related cancer treatment and daily living impacts on cancer patients receiving the SCH-COVID intervention and 2) compare the SCH-COVID intervention to enhanced usual care on health care utilization, COVID-19 diagnosis and outcomes, cancer treatment delays or changes, and patient-reported global health, anxiety, mood, and feelings of social isolation.

Public Health Relevance

This project will evaluate the benefit of an automated home symptom monitoring system, Symptom Care at Home, to track COVID-19 symptoms, provide instructions to reduce COVID-19 exposure, and reduce cancer symptom severity during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will determine if Symptom Care at Home decreases the need for cancer patients to use emergency departments and hospitalization for cancer symptom care. The project addresses the urgent public health need for cancer patients to reduce their risk for COVID-19 exposure.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Research Project (R01)
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St Germain, Diane
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University of Utah
Schools of Nursing
Salt Lake City
United States
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