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16.03.2016 | Original Article | Ausgabe 8/2016

Supportive Care in Cancer 8/2016

Implementation of a mobile inpatient quality of life (QoL) assessment for oncology nursing

Supportive Care in Cancer > Ausgabe 8/2016
Markus K. Schuler, Freya Trautmann, Mirko Radloff, Roman Schmädig, Leopold Hentschel, Maria Eberlein-Gonska, Thomas Petzold, Heike Vetter, Sebastian Oberlack, Gerhard Ehninger, Jochen Schmitt
Wichtige Hinweise
Markus K. Schuler and Freya Trautmann contributed equally to this work.



Cancer patients suffer from a variety of symptoms, but little is known about changes during hospitalization and symptom burden at discharge. We implemented an electronic quality of life (QoL) assessment used by the nursing team in routine inpatient care. Feasibility, acceptance, and the course of QoL were investigated.


A self-administered electronic questionnaire based on the EQ-5D and the EORTC QLQ-C30 was applied in clinical routine. Cancer patients were approached by the nursing staff to complete the QoL assessment twice, at admission and at the day of discharge. Both the feedback of the nursing staff as well as characteristics of participants were used to evaluate the electronic assessment.


Out of 210 patients from an oncologic ward, 85 patients (40 %) were invited to participate, 95 % of whom (n = 81) agreed to participate. Participation rate depended on the day of admission, the presence of the coordinating nurse, the overall morbidity assessed by patient clinical complexity level, and the patient age. Forty-six patients (56 %) asked for assistance in completing the questionnaire. Patients older than 53 years and male patients were more likely to need assistance. Twenty-two percent of the nursing staff (n = 5) use the information assessed for individual patient care. Fifty-two percent (n = 12) rated the additional workload as very little or little and 68 % (n = 15) agreed that handling for the patient was easy. Global QoL improved during the stay. Most severe symptoms at admission included fatigue, pain, appetite loss, and insomnia.


The results of this study indicate that it is feasible to implement and use an electronic QoL assessment by the nursing staff in routine inpatient cancer care. Obstacles and worries of staff members have to be considered when further developing this program.

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