An overload of health-related information is available for patients on numerous websites, guidelines, and information leaflets. However, the increasing need for personalized health-related information is currently unmet.
This study evaluates an educational e-tool for patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) designed to meet patient needs with respect to personalized and complete health-related information provision. The e-tool aims to help NHL patients manage and understand their personal care pathway, by providing them with insight into their own care pathway, the possibility to keep a diary, and structured health-related information.
Together with a multidisciplinary NHL expert panel, we developed an e-tool consisting of two sections: (1) a personal section for patients’ own care pathway and their experiences, and (2) an informative section including information on NHL. We developed an ideal NHL care pathway based on the available (inter)national guidelines. The ideal care pathway, including date of first consultation, diagnosis, and therapy start, was used to set up the personal care pathway. The informative section was developed in collaboration with the patient association, Hematon. Regarding participants, 14 patients and 6 laymen were asked to evaluate the e-tool. The 24-item questionnaire used discussed issues concerning layout (6 questions), user convenience (3 questions), menu clarity (3 questions), information clarity (5 questions), and general impression (7 questions). In addition, the panel members were asked to give their feedback by email.
A comprehensive overview of diagnostics, treatments, and aftercare can be established by patients completing the questions from the personal section. The informative section consisted of NHL information regarding NHL in general, diagnostics, therapy, aftercare, and waiting times. Regarding participants, 6 patients and 6 laymen completed the questionnaire. Overall, the feedback was positive, with at least 75% satisfaction on each feedback item. Important strengths mentioned were the use of a low health-literacy level, the opportunity to document the personal care pathway and experiences, and the clear overview of the information provided. The added value of the e-tool in general was pointed out as very useful for preparing the consultation with one’s doctor and for providing all information on one website, including the opportunity for a personalized care pathway and diary. The majority of the revisions concerned wording and clarity. In addition, more explicit information on immunotherapy, experimental therapy, and psychosocial support was added.
We have developed a personal care management e-tool for NHL patients. This tool contains a unique way to help patients manage their personal care pathway and give them insight into their NHL by providing health-related information and a personal diary. This evaluation showed that our e-tool meets patients’ needs concerning personalized health-related information, which might serve as a good example for other oncologic diseases. Future research should focus on the possible impact of the e-tool on doctor-patient communication during consultations.