PatientVOICE: development and implementation of an online tool about chemotherapy for elderly patients with cancer

More than 40% of all cancer patients in the Netherlands is older than 70 years. Cancer treatment in elderly requires special attention due to, highly prevalent additional health problems (eg regarding hearing, memory, co-morbidity). These problems can complicate the treatment and the education about the treatment. In addition, older patients express their needs and preferences less clearly. Because of this, many questions remain unanswered and patients receive less patient-centered attention and care. Therefore, high quality communication is required in order to prepare patients for an invasive treatment such as chemotherapy. By using simple, effective tools, it is possible to tailor the communication to the needs and preferences of these patients.

To support patients in their preparation for chemotherapy, the patient-centered, online tool PatientVOICE is developed, implemented and evaluated. This tool is developed using previous empirical findings and input from patients and nurses. PatientVOICE aims to support and to prepare elderly (65+) for an educational nursing visit preceding chemotherapy. On the website, patients can fill in a question prompt list, which inquires about their informational and emotional needs. Also, patients can listen back to the audio recording of their own nursing visit (at a secluded, private area on the website), with their companion(s) if needed. This recording is put on their private web page by the nurse. The objective of PatientVOICE is to improve older patients’ information recall and to enhance their participation during the educational nursing encounters, in order to give them more control over their disease and care.

This project is a collaboration between NIVEL (budget holder) and the University of Amsterdam

Researchteam: Jeanine Driesenaar, MSc, NIVEL
Dr. Janneke Noordman, NIVEL
Prof. Sandra van Dulmen, NIVEL
Prof. Julia van Weert
Status: Ongoing since March 2014
Funding: Dutch Cancer Society