"Because much of the cancer care for young children occurs in the outpatient setting, parents have the responsibility of identifying and responding to the child’s symptoms at home. Having a tool that parents could use to record their child's daily symptoms could help to provide insight into the symptoms the child is experiencing. Although multiple resources have been developed to support symptom tracking, ensuring usability is key.
The purpose of this study was to explore aspects of the usability—specifically, the user satisfaction and perceived usefulness—of two daily symptom tracking diaries from the perspectives of parents of young children.
This study used a mixed-methods, crossover design. Twenty parents of children age 0-6 years with cancer tracked their child’s symptoms using an electronic and a paper-and-pencil symptom diary. Data were collected over two 7-day periods spanning three scheduled ambulatory visits. Parents were randomly assigned to use one of the diaries at visit #1 and then use the other diary at visit #2. At visits 2 and 3, parents completed brief interviews and the Questionnaire for User Interface Satisfaction (QUIS) 7.0 and Technology Acceptance Model-adapted (TAM) questionnaires. The QUIS measured users’ reactions to the diaries while the TAM-adapted questions measured parents’ perception of the diary’s usefulness.
Wilcoxon Signed-Ranks Test compared parents’ satisfaction with and perceived usefulness of each diary type. Parents’ satisfaction with and perceived usefulness of the electronic diary were greater than that of the paper-based diary. Qualitative content analysis of parents’ responses to interview questions indicated that although different reasons for diary use were reported, they did not differ based on diary type. All parents reported any type of diary useful for tracking their child’s symptoms at home. Nineteen parents reported the electronic diary to be more useful than the paper-and-pencil diary citing familiarity, features, and convenience."
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