, Volume 22, Issue 10, pp 2733-2740
Date: 07 May 2014

Technological preferences of aging cancer patients for delivery services and devices to solve drug-related problems in oncology

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Abstract

Aim

To identify the technological preferences of aging cancer patients with regard to the delivery services and devices for preventing/solving three common drug-related problems (DRPs): medication nonadherence, lack of knowledge in medications, and side effects management.

Methods

A survey was conducted at a cancer center from May to August 2011. Delivery services included in the interviewer-administered questionnaire included voice-activated dispensing, voice reminders, electronic messages, helplines, and mobile phone applications, among others. Three devices were proposed—watches, bracelets, and mobile phones. Descriptive statistics and chi-square tests were performed.

Results

A total of 361 surveys were analyzed. Median age of respondents was 61 years. The majority of respondents were female (57.3 %), Chinese (88.9 %), and 65 years and younger (73.4 %). More than half (59.0–63.2 %) were receptive to the use of the delivery services. Patients preferred voice reminder alerts (28.0 %) and electronic messages (17.7 %) to help with their medication nonadherence, and helplines for medications (52.6 %) and side effects management (47.4 %). Higher educated patients were more likely to want delivery services to improve their medication adherence (p = 0.045) and knowledge in medications management (p = 0.050). Middle age patients (age 50–65) were also more likely to want delivery services for the latter DRP (p = 0.009). Among those who wanted delivery services, most preferred mobile phones.

Conclusion

Middle age and elderly cancer patients are accepting of delivery services to help them with their DRPs. With middle aged patients being more receptive of the delivery services, technology can potentially play an important role in minimizing DRPs.