Upper Digestive Disease App for Electronic Patient-Reported Outcomes: A Mixed Methods Pilot Study

Linda L. Chlan, Camryn Wzientek, Karlyn E. Pierson, Kathryn J. Ruddy, Amy Schrandt, David Burnette, Minji K. Lee, Kathleen J. Yost, Shanda H. Blackmon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) can enable communication of symptoms, function, and quality of life. Mobile devices capture PROs electronically (ePRO). The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility and acceptability of collecting ePROs in esophagectomy patients using the upper digestive disease application (UDD App). Methods: A single-group, mixed methods design was used to address the study purposes. A convenience sample of esophagectomy patients was recruited after resumption of an oral diet from January 2020 to December 2020. Demographic characteristics (age, sex) and clinical data (surgical procedure) were obtained after informed consent. Participants used the UDD App for 1 year, followed by scripted telephone interviews. Descriptive statistics and thematic analyses of the interviews were the primary data analyses. Results: Sixty-four patients were enrolled (80% male; 62.9 ± 12 years old). Of these, 50 patients initiated 108 evaluations through the UDD app, with 98% completing the questionnaire on the first attempt, indicating feasibility. A subset of 32 patients participated in the scripted telephone interview. Participants (74%) reported high computer literacy; all reported that using the UDD App was easier than or equivalent to a paper form. Interview themes revealed value of the app for identifying problems and enhanced communication with providers and caregivers, with an overall appreciation for the convenience of remote monitoring but concerns about data privacy. Conclusions: The UDD App is feasible and acceptable for collecting ePROs in esophagectomy patients. Future work will determine whether the UDD App improves symptoms, function, and quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
StatePublished - Oct 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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