Virtual Conference

Dr. Letteria Consolo

University of Rome, Italy

Title: Barriers and facilitators of electronic patient-reported outcome measures (e-PROMs) for patients in home palliative cancer care: A qualitative study of healthcare professionals’ perceptions


Background: Patient-reported outcomes in palliative care enable early monitoring and management of symptoms that most impact patients’ daily lives; however, there are several barriers to adopting electronic Patient-reported Outcome Measures (e-PROMs) in daily practice. This study explored the experiences of health care professionals (HCPs) regarding potential barriers and facilitators in implementing e-PROMs in palliative cancer care at home.

Methods: This was a qualitative descriptive study. The data were collected from two focus groups structured according to the conceptual framework of Grol. HCPs involved in home palliative cancer care of Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori of Milan were enrolled. Data were analyzed using a reflexive thematic analysis.

Results: A total of 245 codes were generated, 171 for the first focus group and 74 for the second focus group. The results were subdivided into subthemes according to Grol’s themes: Innovation, Individual professional, Patient, Social context, Organizational context, except Economic Political context. Nine HCPs attended the first focus group, and ten attended the second. According to these participants, e-PROMs could be integrated into clinical practice after adequate training and support of HCPs at all stages of implementation. They identified barriers, especially in the social and organizational contexts, due to the uniqueness of the oncological end-of-life setting and the intangible care interventions, as well as many facilitators for the innovation that these tools bring and for improved communication with the patient and the healthcare team.

Conclusions: e-PROMs are perceived by HCPs as adding value to patient care and their work; however, barriers remain especially related to the fragility of these patients, the adequacy of technological systems, lack of education, and the risk of low humanization of care.