Remote monitoring of the performance status and burden of symptoms of patients with gastrointestinal cancer via a consumer-based activity tracker: Quantitative cohort study

Alireza Ghods, Armin Shahrokni, Hassan Ghasemzadeh, Diane Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The number of older patients with gastrointestinal cancer is increasing due to an aging global population. Minimizing reliance on an in-clinic patient performance status test to determine a patient's prognosis and course of treatment can improve resource utilization. Further, current performance status measurements cannot capture patients' constant changes. These measurements also rely on self-reports, which are subjective and subject to bias. Real-time monitoring of patients' activities may allow for a more accurate assessment of patients' performance status while minimizing resource utilization. Objective: This study investigates the validity of consumer-based activity trackers for monitoring the performance status of patients with gastrointestinal cancer. Methods: A total of 27 consenting patients (63% male, median age 58 years) wore a consumer-based activity tracker 7 days before chemotherapy and 14 days after receiving their first treatment. The provider assessed patients using the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status (ECOG-PS) scale and Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale-Short Form (MSAS-SF) before and after chemotherapy visits. The statistical correlations between ECOG-PS and MSAS-SF scores and patients' daily step counts were assessed. Results: The daily step counts yielded the highest correlation with the patients' ECOG-PS scores after chemotherapy (P<.001). The patients with higher ECOG-PS scores experienced a higher fluctuation in their step counts. The patients who walked more prechemotherapy (mean 6071 steps per day) and postchemotherapy (mean 5930 steps per day) had a lower MSAS-SF score (lower burden of symptoms) compared to patients who walked less prechemotherapy (mean 5205 steps per day) and postchemotherapy (mean 4437 steps per day). Conclusions: This study demonstrates the feasibility of using inexpensive, consumer-based activity trackers for the remote monitoring of performance status in the gastrointestinal cancer population. The findings need to be validated in a larger population for generalizability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere22931
JournalJMIR Cancer
Volume7
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Activity tracker
  • Burden
  • Cancer
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Gastrointestinal cancer
  • Monitoring
  • Performance status
  • Step count
  • Symptom
  • Wearable

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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