Journal of Cancer Education

, Volume 33, Issue 5, pp 1027–1035 | Cite as

Examining the Impact of a Web-Based Intervention to Promote Patient Activation in Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy Assessment and Management

  • Robert Knoerl
  • Deborah Lee
  • James Yang
  • Celia Bridges
  • Grace Kanzawa-Lee
  • G. Lita Smith
  • Ellen M. Lavoie Smith


Lack of activation in self-care can compromise a patient’s ability to monitor and manage cancer treatment-related side effects, such as chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN). The web-based Carevive® Care Planning System (CPS) was developed to promote evidence-based symptom assessment and treatment by enhancing patients’ involvement in their own care. The purpose of this single-arm, pre-test/post-test, prospective study was to examine whether the CPS can promote patient activation in CIPN symptom assessment and management. Seventy-five women with breast cancer receiving neurotoxic chemotherapy were recruited from a Comprehensive Cancer Center. Using standardized neuropathy measures embedded within the CPS, patients reported their CIPN symptoms over three consecutive clinical visits and completed the Patient Activation Measure (PAM) at the first and third visits. Mean changes in PAM scores between visits were compared using repeated measure analysis of covariance, adjusting for age. At baseline, patients were diagnosed with cancer within the past year (94.7%), highly activated (85% Level III/IV), and had a mean age of 51.3. PAM scores improved significantly from 67.15 (SD = 13.5; range = 47–100) at visit one to 69.29 (SD = 16.18; range = 47–100) (p = 0.02) (n = 62) at visit three. However, patients perceived the CPS to be of minimal value because it solely focused on CIPN and, for many, CIPN was not severe enough to motivate them to seek out symptom management information. Further research is needed to assess the utility of the CPS in promoting activation in the assessment and management of varying cancer treatment-related symptoms.


Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy Technology assessment Peripheral nervous system disease/chemically induced Cancer symptom management Patient activation 



The authors would like to acknowledge Shraddha Pardesi, MS, BPharm for patient accrual; James P. Kelly, IV, BS, Elizabeth Edwards, BS, and Kelsey Kippe, BSN, RN for data collection; and Connie Visovsky, PhD, APRN-BC, FAAN for her assistance with preparing the Genentech grant application.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest and Source of Funding

This study was funded by Genentech Research Grant G-26378. The platform tested in this study was provided without cost by Carevive Systems, Inc.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© American Association for Cancer Education 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Michigan School of NursingAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Michigan State University College of NursingEast LansingUSA
  3. 3.University of Michigan Health SystemAnn ArborUSA

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