Text Messaging Program Aims To Help Cancer Patients Manage Pain


The McKesson Foundation has awarded a grant to the Center for Connected Health to develop a text messaging program that could help people with cancer manage their pain, MobiHealthNews reports.

McKesson is funding the research through its Mobilizing for Health program. Last year, McKesson awarded a grant to the Center -- a Boston-based division of Partners HealthCare -- to develop a text messaging program to help patients with diabetes manage their condition (Versel, MobiHealthNews, 10/29).

Study Details

The Center will enroll 122 lung cancer patients with moderate to severe pain. Patients will be randomly assigned to receive mobile-based interventions or the standard practice of care.

Over a four-month period, researchers will use text messaging and interactive voice response technology to:

  • Collect self-reported pain assessments;
  • Monitor the impact of pain on daily life; and
  • Provide tailored, multi-dimensional and supportive feedback (Slabodkin, FierceMobileHealthcare, 10/30).

Research Goals

Kamal Jethwani -- corporate manager for research and innovation at the Center and principal investigator for the study -- said, "There is increasing evidence for the use of interactive voice response technologies in mobile health interventions because it is low cost, convenient, reliable and effective for symptom and treatment monitoring in chronic disease management."

The study aims to leverage mobile technologies to "decrease the intensity of cancer pain and increase our patients' quality of life, while providing education and feedback to empower and enable individuals to manage their pain better," Jethwani added (Miliard, Healthcare IT News, 10/26).

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