Engaging Elderly Breast Cancer Patients Through an e-health Intervention: A Case Series Study

  • Daniela VillaniEmail author
  • Chiara Cognetta
  • Davide Toniolo
  • Francesco Scanzi
  • Giuseppe Riva
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering book series (LNICST, volume 253)


The aging population increases the number of new diagnoses of breast cancer and women of all ages experience psychological stress for possible treatment related side effects. To prepare elderly women diagnosed with breast cancer to face the imminent chemotherapy we developed an e-health intervention based on the Stress Inoculation Training (SIT) protocol, lasting two weeks. The online intervention includes 10 sessions to see once a day. The research design is a controlled trial comparing an experimental group, following the online intervention in addition to traditional treatment provided by the hospital, and a control group without treatment. The aim of this contribution is to explore the level of engagement of eight patients through a case series study. Furthermore, the acceptance of the online intervention by elderly patients in terms of perceived pleasantness, usefulness and easiness is assessed. Data show that patients remain in a stable position (mainly ranging from the arousal and the adhesion phases) within the engagement process after two weeks. Furthermore, patients of the experimental group report a good level of acceptance of the e-health intervention. Thus, preliminary results suggest that the e-health intervention is well accepted by elderly patients and that it addresses patients’ need of knowing the imminent treatment experience and of understanding how to deal with it.


e-health Patient engagement Breast cancer Acceptance Online intervention 



This study has been supported by Catholic University of Sacred Heart of Milan (D3.2 Tecnologia Positiva e Healthy Aging - Positive Technology and Healthy Aging, 2014).


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Copyright information

© ICST Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniela Villani
    • 1
    Email author
  • Chiara Cognetta
    • 2
  • Davide Toniolo
    • 2
  • Francesco Scanzi
    • 3
  • Giuseppe Riva
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversità Cattolica del Sacro CuoreMilanItaly
  2. 2.Department of Medical Oncology“G.Salvini” ASST RodhenseMilanItaly
  3. 3.U.O. Oncologia Medica, Ospedale S. Giuseppe- MultimedicaMilanItaly
  4. 4.Applied Technology for Neuro-Psychology LabIstituto Auxologico ItalianoMilanItaly

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