The Role of e-Health in the Delivery of Care for Patients with Hematological Cancers: A Systematic Literature Review
Taylor, S.; Bellhouse, S.; Allsop, M.; Radford, J.; Yorke, J.
Telemedicine Journal and E-Health the Official Journal of the American Telemedicine Association 26(9): 1093-1105
ISSN/ISBN: 1530-5627 PMID: 32208067 DOI: 10.1089/tmj.2019.0231
Background: Hematological cancer survivors have significant unmet needs. The use of e-health interventions has been shown to be effective in improving patient experiences and outcomes in other diseases. The aim of this review is to explore the role of e-health interventions in the delivery of care for patients with hematological cancers across the illness trajectory. Methods: A systematic narrative review approach using thematic analysis was used to identify the key issues and themes in the literature. Medical subject headings and keywords were used in several databases: Medline, Embase, PsycInfo, CINAHL, and The Cochrane Collaboration Cochrane Review Database. This review focuses on the use of e-health interventions for patients with hematological cancers within any study design. Results: Twenty-three (n = 23) studies were identified in this review. The studies were of varying designs: randomized controlled trials (n = 6); pre- and postdesign (n = 1); feasibility and acceptability (n = 11) and varying methodological quality. Seven studies included patients with any cancer diagnosis rather than focusing specifically on hematology patients. Our thematic analysis identified four main categories of intervention: information provision (n = 4); self-help (n = 6); communication facilitation (n = 5); and patient-reported outcome recording or monitoring (n = 8). Conclusion: The clinical management of patients with hematological cancers, particularly those in survivorship, presents opportunities to explore e-health approaches to improve patient care. This review highlights that e-health tools may be acceptable and feasible to use with a hematology patient population, but more robust and well-designed trials that engage patients and health professionals are required to determine which and how interventions can be used most effectively.