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      Exploring Interactive Survivorship Care Plans to Support Breast Cancer Survivors: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial

      , MS, PhD 1 , , , PhD 2
      (Reviewer), (Reviewer), (Reviewer)
      JMIR Research Protocols
      JMIR Publications
      breast cancer, cancer survivorship, self-management, patient education

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          Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among American women, accounting for 23% of all cancer survivors nationally. Yet, the availability of adequate resources and tools for supporting breast cancer survivors has not kept up with the rapid advancement in treatment options, resulting in unmet supportive care needs, particularly among low-income and minority populations. This study explores an alternative means of delivering breast cancer survivorship care plans (SCPs), with the aim of improving survivor morbidity, patient knowledge, and self-management of treatment-related symptoms, as well as addressing inconsistencies in follow-up care visits.


          The overall goal of this study is to improve the uptake of SCP recommendations via an educational intervention for breast cancer survivors, to improve treatment-related morbidity, patient knowledge, self-management, and adherence to follow-up visits. The specific aims of the study are to (1) evaluate the feasibility of the online SCP, and (2) assess the impact of the online SCP on survivorship outcomes.


          We will enroll 50 breast cancer survivors who have completed initial breast cancer treatment into a 2-armed, randomized, waitlist-controlled pilot trial, and collect data at baseline and 6 months. For the first aim, we will use mixed methods, including surveys and personal interviews among the intervention group, to determine the feasibility of providing an online, interactive SCP (called ACESO) based on the survivors’ online user experience and their short-term adoption. For the secondary aim, we will compare the 2 groups to assess the primary outcomes of survivor knowledge, self-efficacy for self-management, perceived peer support, and adherence to SCP-recommended posttreatment follow-up visits to oncology and primary care; and the secondary outcomes of treatment-related morbidity (body weight, fatigue, depression, anxiety, sexual function, distress, and sleep quality). We assess these outcomes by using measurements from validated instruments with robust psychometric properties.


          We have developed and refined the online breast cancer survivorship plan, ACESO, with consultation from breast cancer oncologists, nurses, and survivors. Approval for the study protocol has been obtained from the Institutional Review Board. An advisory board has also been established to provide oversight and recommendations on the conduct of the study. The study will be completed over a period of 2 years.


          The results of this pilot study will inform the feasibility and design of a larger-scale pragmatic trial to evaluate the impact of an online breast cancer SCP on treatment-related morbidity and self-efficacy for self-management.

          International Registered Report Identifier (IRRID)


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          Research electronic data capture (REDCap) is a novel workflow methodology and software solution designed for rapid development and deployment of electronic data capture tools to support clinical and translational research. We present: (1) a brief description of the REDCap metadata-driven software toolset; (2) detail concerning the capture and use of study-related metadata from scientific research teams; (3) measures of impact for REDCap; (4) details concerning a consortium network of domestic and international institutions collaborating on the project; and (5) strengths and limitations of the REDCap system. REDCap is currently supporting 286 translational research projects in a growing collaborative network including 27 active partner institutions.
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            A brief measure for assessing generalized anxiety disorder: the GAD-7.

            Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is one of the most common mental disorders; however, there is no brief clinical measure for assessing GAD. The objective of this study was to develop a brief self-report scale to identify probable cases of GAD and evaluate its reliability and validity. A criterion-standard study was performed in 15 primary care clinics in the United States from November 2004 through June 2005. Of a total of 2740 adult patients completing a study questionnaire, 965 patients had a telephone interview with a mental health professional within 1 week. For criterion and construct validity, GAD self-report scale diagnoses were compared with independent diagnoses made by mental health professionals; functional status measures; disability days; and health care use. A 7-item anxiety scale (GAD-7) had good reliability, as well as criterion, construct, factorial, and procedural validity. A cut point was identified that optimized sensitivity (89%) and specificity (82%). Increasing scores on the scale were strongly associated with multiple domains of functional impairment (all 6 Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form General Health Survey scales and disability days). Although GAD and depression symptoms frequently co-occurred, factor analysis confirmed them as distinct dimensions. Moreover, GAD and depression symptoms had differing but independent effects on functional impairment and disability. There was good agreement between self-report and interviewer-administered versions of the scale. The GAD-7 is a valid and efficient tool for screening for GAD and assessing its severity in clinical practice and research.
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              The Pittsburgh sleep quality index: A new instrument for psychiatric practice and research

              Despite the prevalence of sleep complaints among psychiatric patients, few questionnaires have been specifically designed to measure sleep quality in clinical populations. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) is a self-rated questionnaire which assesses sleep quality and disturbances over a 1-month time interval. Nineteen individual items generate seven "component" scores: subjective sleep quality, sleep latency, sleep duration, habitual sleep efficiency, sleep disturbances, use of sleeping medication, and daytime dysfunction. The sum of scores for these seven components yields one global score. Clinical and clinimetric properties of the PSQI were assessed over an 18-month period with "good" sleepers (healthy subjects, n = 52) and "poor" sleepers (depressed patients, n = 54; sleep-disorder patients, n = 62). Acceptable measures of internal homogeneity, consistency (test-retest reliability), and validity were obtained. A global PSQI score greater than 5 yielded a diagnostic sensitivity of 89.6% and specificity of 86.5% (kappa = 0.75, p less than 0.001) in distinguishing good and poor sleepers. The clinimetric and clinical properties of the PSQI suggest its utility both in psychiatric clinical practice and research activities.

                Author and article information

                JMIR Res Protoc
                JMIR Res Protoc
                JMIR Research Protocols
                JMIR Publications (Toronto, Canada )
                December 2020
                4 December 2020
                : 9
                : 12
                : e23414
                [1 ] Consumer Health Informatics Lab Department of Health Services and Information Management East Carolina University Greenville, NC United States
                [2 ] Department of Health Informatics and Administration University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Milwaukee, WI United States
                Author notes
                Corresponding Author: Akshat Kapoor kapoora16@ 123456ecu.edu
                Author information
                ©Akshat Kapoor, Priya Nambisan. Originally published in JMIR Research Protocols (http://www.researchprotocols.org), 04.12.2020.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Research Protocols, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on http://www.researchprotocols.org, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.

                : 11 August 2020
                : 28 September 2020
                : 21 October 2020
                : 10 November 2020

                breast cancer,cancer survivorship,self-management,patient education


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