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A mHealth-based nursing model for assessing the health outcomes of the discharged patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma: a pilot RCT

BMC Nurs. 2022 Aug 1;21(1):210. doi: 10.1186/s12912-022-00993-0.


BACKGROUND: Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is one of the most common head and neck malignancies, having a high incidence in Guangxi, China. Although chemoradiotherapy offers more effective cancer treatment, it also causes a variety of acute and chronic side effects, seriously affecting the quality of life. NPC has evolved into a chronic disease with most patients opting for home-based rehabilitation. Therefore, efforts on improving the home-based extended care services to improve the quality of life of patients are booming. The Chinese government encourages the use of internet technology for expanding the prospect of nursing. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of a mHealth-based care model on the health outcomes of discharged patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

METHODS: An experimental design was applied for this study. The study enrolled 116 discharged patients who were re-examined in the Radiotherapy Department of the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University from November 2019 to February 2020. These patients were randomized into control and intervention groups (n = 58 per group), but during the implementation of the project, there was one dropout in the control group due to the loss of follow-up, and one dropout in the intervention group due to distant metastasis. In the end, 57 patients in the control and intervention groups completed the trial. The control group was subjected to routine discharge guidance and follow-up, while the experimental group was implemented with a mobile health (mHealth)-based continuous nursing intervention model. The scores of the side effects, cancer fatigue, and quality of life were compared between the two groups of patients for 3, 6, and 12 months, respectively after discharge from the hospital.

RESULTS: This study included 114 patients and there were no significant differences in the baseline data between the two groups. After 6 and 12 months of intervention, the severity of radiation toxicity and side effects, the scores of cancer-related fatigue, and quality of life (symptom field) of the patients in the interventional group were significantly lowered statistically compared to those in the control group.

CONCLUSION: This study is based on the mHealth continuous nursing intervention model, which can reduce the side effects of radiotherapy and cancer fatigue, and improve the quality of life.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: This study was retrospectively registered as a randomized controlled trial in the Chinese Clinical Trial Center. Registration Date: January 12, 2021, Registration Number: ChiCTR2100042027.

PMID:35915490 | DOI:10.1186/s12912-022-00993-0

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