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PubMed | University of Queensland, Princess Alexandra Hospital and 1 Center for Functioning and Health Research
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of telemedicine and telecare | Year: 2015

Consumer feedback and end-user perceptions provide important information regarding the clinical acceptability of new telepractice systems. This pilot investigation aimed to evaluate end-user perceptions of a new asynchronous telepractice application, SwallowIT, designed to support patients to remotely complete intensive swallowing therapy during curative chemoradiotherapy (CRT) treatment for head and neck cancer (HNC). Insights were sought from 15 patients with oropharyngeal cancer who used SwallowIT to complete supported home swallowing therapy. Perceptions were evaluated via structured questionnaires, completed following initial orientation to SwallowIT and on completion of CRT. Semi-structured phone interviews were conducted 3 months post-treatment. The majority of patients reported positive initial perceptions towards SwallowIT for comfort (87%), confidence (87%), motivation (73%) and support (87%). No statistically significant change in perceptions was observed from baseline to end of CRT ( p>0.05). Thematic analysis of interviews revealed four main themes: the ease of use of SwallowIT, motivating factors, circumstances which made therapy difficult, and personal preferences for service-delivery models. These preliminary findings demonstrate that SwallowIT was well-perceived by the current group of HNC consumers and suggest that SwallowIT may be well-accepted as an alternate service-delivery model for delivering intensive swallowing therapy during CRT.

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