Head and Neck Oncology

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Gon�alves JJ, Rocha AM. A decision support system for quality of life in head and neck oncology patients. Head Neck Oncol. 2012 Feb 16;4:3.

Abstract

Background

The assessment of Quality of Life (QoL) is a Medical goal; it is used in clinical research, medical practice, health-related economic studies and in planning health management measures and strategies. The objective of this project is to develop an informational platform to achieve a patient self-assessment with standardized QoL measuring instruments, through friendly software, easy for the user to adapt, which should aid the study of QoL, by promoting the creation of databases and accelerating its statistical treatment and yet generating subsequent useful results in graphical format for the physician analyzes in an appointment immediately after the answers collection.

Methods

First, a software platform was designed and developed in an action-research process with patients, physicians and nurses. The computerized patient self-assessment with standardized QoL measuring instruments was compared with traditional one, to verify if its use did not influence the patient's answers. For that, the Wilcoxon and t-Student tests were applied. After, we adopted and adapted the mathematic Rash model to make possible the use of QoL measure in the routine appointments.

Results

The results show that the computerized patient self-assessment does not influence the patient's answers and can be used as a suitable tool in the routine appointment, because indicates problems which are more difficult to identify in a traditional appointment, improving thus the physician's decisions.

Conclusions

The possibility of representing graphically useful results that physician needs to analyze in the appointment, immediately after the answer collection, in an useful time, makes this QoL assessment platform a diagnosis instrument ready to be used routinely in clinical practice.

Corresponding Author

?lvaro M Rocha (amrocha@ufp.edu.pt)