Pilot Study Evaluates Implementation of Web-Based Self-Management Tool for Cancer Patients

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Evaluation of Oncokompas, a web-based tool for patients, received mixed reviews among healthcare providers.
Evaluation of Oncokompas, a web-based tool for patients, received mixed reviews among healthcare providers.

A web-based tool to aid patients with cancer in finding supportive care and addressing health-related quality of life was recently evaluated for its implementation, with the results published in Supportive Care in Cancer.

The tool, Oncokompas, was made available to patients at participating hospitals in the Netherlands by their healthcare providers. In this 1-year pilot study, 65 hospitals were invited to participate, and healthcare providers completed questionnaires regarding implementation of the tool including items related to the healthcare provider, the hospital, Oncokompas itself, and sociopolitical context.

The tool is a web-based self-management application designed to help patients with cancer access supportive care services. The tool uses patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) targeting more than 80 health-related quality of life (HRQOL) topics specific to cancer. PROMs are processed by the algorithms built into Oncokompas. The algorithm calculations are based on available cut-off scores or are defined based on Dutch practice guidelines, literature searches, and/or expert consensus. Scores are provided along with automatically generated feedback, information, insights, and tips tailored to the individual patient.

Oncokompas was implemented at 20 of the hospitals (31%), and 72 of 205 (35%) healthcare providers at those hospitals responded on receipt of the questionnaire, with 61 completing questionnaire items regarding Oncokompas. Of these, 44 had implemented the tool (72%).

The most common reasons for not offering Oncokompas to a given patient were forgetting to register the patient (39.3%) or the tool had been offered by another provider (14.8%). In some cases, the version used was deemed unsuitable to a patient's condition or to the patient's perceived ability or internet access.

Nonimplementers found offering the tool to be more complex than did the implementers (P = .002), and they gave it lower ratings for procedural clarity (P ≤ .001 ) and for the provider-related items of self-efficacy, social support, professional obligation, and importance of outcome expectations (P ≤ .001).

Although the response rate was low, the authors noted that the pilot study results provided insights that could enhance implementation of this type of tool in the future.


Matthijs de Wit L, van Uden-Kraan CF, Lissenberg-Witte BI, et al. Adoption and implementation of a web-based self-management application “Oncokompas” in routine cancer care: a national pilot study [published online December 18, 2018]. Support Care Cancer. doi: 10.1007/s00520-018-4591-5

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