The burden of chronic disease on healthcare providers and community as a whole results in increased costs, reduced patient function and poorer quality of life. However, the Chinese researchers have developed a self-management application known as ‘Be_With_You’ for breast cancer survivors to check their feasibilities and quality of life. The researchers are planning to administer and test the effectiveness of the new application on the local, national, and international level, says a recent paper published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).
A trend is running toward a higher incidence of chronic diseases such as cancer which is one of the four major types of non-communicable chronic diseases (NCD) and the second leading cause of NCD-related deaths worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer caused around 9.6 million deaths of which 2.09 million cases were of breast cancer in 2018.
As per the current paper, the investigators have planned to do a randomized controlled trial that will be conducted in Hunan province, China, from 1 January 2020 to 30 June 2021. For that purpose, the team will recruit an estimated data of 476 cancer survivors aged between 18 to 65 that will be on the I, II, or III stages of cancer. The team will divide the study participants into two groups. The first group will be called an intervention group that will be assigned to the self-management application known as ‘Be_With_You’ whereas, the second group or the controlled group will use a general health application.
‘Be_With_You’ has two major parts. The first part is the Chinese version of the Cancer Survivor Profile for breast cancer survivors (CSPro-BC) which involved 71 items whereas the second major part is that the is composed of self-learning e-resources, such as expert articles, the video that can describe how to use the app, different types of exercise to improve physical functioning such as body mass and a good healthy diet for a healthy mind and body, and also stress management techniques.
Study Criteria: According to the plan, the team will collect all the female participants and primarily measure the differences among both groups that included the participant’s health literacy, problem-solving skills, and self-management skills. As per the secondary measurements, the team will check the differences in changes in lifestyle, confidence, and belief on oneself and their quality of life.
The study sample will remain under observation for 12 weeks and they will be provided with an independent assessment. The first measurement will be taken after 4 weeks and the second measurement will be recorded after 12 weeks. Then the team will do a comparison between both of the group’s lifestyles, general health-related consequences, and self-management characteristics.
The readings of the application will give a piece of information about potential problematic areas after the primary treatment of breast cancer. The current project has been funded by the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (HKPU).
After Effects of Primary Treatment of Breast Cancer
The most common symptoms that have been experienced by most of the breast cancer victims are distorted thinking pattern, fatigue, sexual dysfunction, anxiety, depression, and lymphoedema which is a long term condition when the lymphatic system or the network of tissues and organs does not work properly and results into the swelling in the body’s any tissue but mostly in legs and arms. These symptoms can last for more than ten years after the completion of primary treatment of cancer, according to a study published in The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine (IJPM).
Therefore, to manage the negative health outcomes and above-mentioned symptoms and to improve the quality of life, the electronic health (E_health) applications such as self-management app can be considered as a reliable tool. E_health works as an umbrella that covers a wide range of health care facilities that delivered through information and communication technologies (ICTs), such as electronic health records (EHRs), health information systems, tools for self-management, health data analytics, remote monitoring and consultation services including telehealth, telemedicine, telecare.