Document Type

Conference Paper

Department

Internal Medicine (East Africa)

Abstract

Patients and caregivers in palliative care experience multidimensional pain. In current practice, information about a cancer patient progress is known when they visit a clinic or make a distress call when their conditions worsen. This strategy is not efficient for systematic monitoring of symptoms, which is key in improving palliative care. Mobile phones have helped to transform healthcare through diagnosis, health education and symptoms management of chronic illnesses. In this study, a mobile phone assessment tool was implemented at an outpatient palliative care clinic for cancer patients in Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi. The usefulness of the mobile phone application was examined. In the initial interview with a cohort of 19 patients and caregivers, 15 were eligible for the study. Patients and caregivers used the application to report their symptoms and needs at an interval of one week. Participatory action design was used whereas data collection was achieved through non-structured interviews. Findings from the study were organized into three themes: enhanced communication, improved assessment of total cancer pain and advocacy tool. This study illustrates that utilization of mobile phone applications can enhance palliative care by improving monitoring of symptoms and strengthening patient-provider communication.

Publication

2017 IST-Africa Week Conference (IST-Africa)

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