An acceptability study for the use of web-based video consultations in patients receiving lifelong treatment for chronic myeloid leukaemia patients at University College London Hospital, London, UK

Tin Wai Ng, University College London

1. Background

Recently, a number of reports have been published regarding healthcare provision in the UK. An overarching theme in the recommendations is the need to improve patient experience. Other emergent themes are the use of technology to deliver better patient outcomes and a better utilisation of the workforce.

Travel by cancer patients to their hospital appointments can be a huge financial burden and in addition, the effects of treatment and fatigue further impacts on their wellbeing. Non-attendance of appointments can impact on NHS efficiencies and can also affect patient adherence and outcomes. A model of outpatient appointments that could be carried out remotely could therefore help improve patient experience and outcomes, as well as providing flexibility and cost-effectiveness for the NHS.

2. Aims and objectives

The aim of the project is to explore the acceptability of web-based video consultation in patients receiving treatment for chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) at University College Hospital (UCLH), London, UK. This will be explored through the delivery of objectives that include:

  • identifying how web-based video consultations are currently being used in health related consultations between a patient and a healthcare provider
  • outlining (an) alternative model(s) for remote follow-up consultations using web-based technology

3. Methods

The project will be an exploratory and descriptive study using qualitative and quantitative methods, to be conducted in three stages:

  • Literature review
  • Field work: questionnaires, focus group and interviews
  • Analysis of results

Following the receipt of ethical approval, a literature review will be carried out to identify existing work that has been conducted in this area. The resulting themes will be used to inform preparation and completion of the field work.

The focus group will consist of 8-12 people and 1-2-1 interviews will be conducted on another 8-12 participants. Both sets of participants will also receive a questionnaire to provide a more structured method of capturing information and complement the semi-structured focus group and interviews.

Participants will be patients who are aged 18 years and above, have received treatment for CML for at least 12 months and are considered to be stable. Participants will be recruited through Bloodwise and also the UCLH CML clinic list.

A thematic analysis of the focus group and interviews will be undertaken, supported by NVivo software. The responses to the questionnaires will undergo a basic descriptive statistical analysis.

4. How the results of the research will be used

The results will be initially used to inform the UCLH Pharmacy Oncology Team as to whether further work in this area needs to be carried out, either within UCLH, or within a wider network through the London Cancer Chemotherapy Expert Review Group and the Haematology Pathway Board.

Future work could include:

  • acceptability studies of web-based video consultations in health care professionals
  • acceptability studies in other tumour types
  • feasibility and pilot studies of web-based consultations

It would be hoped that the results could be shared on a wider scale through national conferences such as the BOPA Annual Symposium and publication in national and international journals.

This project ran from January 2018 to May 2019. An executive summary is available here, with the full final report available here.