Text message questionnaires support cancer patients

Text message questionnaires support cancer patients

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

Cancer patients at Guy’s and St Thomas’ are more likely to highlight concerns and anxieties about their health when contacted by text message.

A new paper shows text messages received more responses than other methods.

More than 600 patients completed an online evaluation of their concerns after getting a cancer diagnosis.

They were twice as likely to say that they felt worried, fearful or anxious about their health compared to those who did the survey in person or on the phone.

Nikki Cannon, transformation lead for cancer survivorship at Guy’s and St Thomas’, led the study.

Holistic needs assessment

All patients diagnosed with cancer complete a holistic needs assessment with their nurse or healthcare professional as part of their personalised care at Guy’s Cancer.

Before COVID-19, this was usually completed in-person at a clinic appointment.

However, as many appointments went virtual, staff looked for new ways to continue supporting patients.

They decided to send a short questionnaire by text message.

Staff then called them to talk about their care plan in more detail.

The trust sent 650 holistic needs assessments to patients.

Eighty per cent were completed by patients across 11 different tumour groups.

Initial analysis shows patients have highlighted greater concerns when completing the questionnaires in their own time, from their own homes.

Staff are working with patient groups to understand more about why this is the case.

Read more about the study on the Guy’s and St Thomas’ website.

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