User Experiences of a Digital Intervention to Support Total-Skin-Self-Examination by Melanoma Survivors; a nested qualitative evaluation embedded in a randomised trial

Felicity Reilly, Nuha Wani, Susan Hall, Heather May Morgan, Julia Allan, Lynda Constable, Maria Ntessalen, Peter Murchie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background:

Melanoma is a common cancer with a high survival rate, as well as a high chance of recurrence. Combined, this leads to a high burden of follow-up. Total-Skin-Self-Examination (TSSE) improves clinical outcomes of melanoma via early detection of new primaries and recurrences, and technology is an increasingly popular means of facilitating TSSE. Thus, the Achieving Self-directed Integrated Cancer Aftercare (ASICA) digital healthcare intervention was developed.

Objective:

Nested within a randomised control trial, this study used qualitative interviews to explore participants’ experiences of TSSE, their orientation toward technology and both participant and professionals’ practical and technical experiences of the ASICA intervention.

Methods:

Semi-structured telephone interviews were undertaken during the randomised controlled trial with the participants and the coordinating Dermatology Nurse Practitioner (DNP). Participants were purposively sampled to achieve a representative sample. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using a Framework Analysis approach applied within NVivo12.

Results:

Twenty-two interviews were completed with participants and one with the coordinating DNP. ASICA appeared to change participants’ perceptions of skin-checking: users were more likely to report routinely performing TSSE thoroughly. There was some variation in beliefs about skin-checking and using technology for healthcare generally. Overall, ASICA was experienced positively by participants and the DNP. Several clear practical suggestions were made for how ASICA can be improved.

Conclusions:

The ASICA app appears to have positively influenced the attitudes and TSSE practices of melanoma survivors. Technical improvements are required, but the app offers promise for technologically enhanced melanoma follow-up in future. Clinical Trial: Clinical Trials.gov, NCT03328247. Registered on 1 November 2017 - https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03328247?term=ASICA&rank=1
Original languageEnglish
JournalJMIR Dermatology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 18 Jan 2023

Keywords

  • Mobile applications
  • melanoma
  • early detection of cancer
  • qualitative interviews
  • cancer survivorship

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