Wearable-Triggered Ecological Momentary Assessments Are Feasible in People With Advanced Cancer and Their Family Caregivers: Feasibility Study from an Outpatient Palliative Care Clinic at a Cancer Center

Publication Name

Journal of Palliative Medicine


Background: Emerging digital health approaches could play a role in better personalized palliative care. Aim: We conducted a feasibility study testing wearable sensor (WS)-triggered ecological momentary assessments (EMAs) and electronic patient-reported outcomes in community palliative care with patient-caregiver dyads. Design: All wore consumer-grade WS for five weeks. Sensor-detected “stress” (heart rate variability algorithm) that passed individualized thresholds triggered a short smartphone survey. Daily sleep surveys, weekly symptom surveys (Integrated Palliative care Outcome Scale), and a poststudy experience survey were conducted. Setting/Participants: Fifteen dyads (n = 30) were recruited from an outpatient palliative care clinic for people with cancer. Results: Daytime sensor wear-time had 73% adherence. Participants perceived value in this support. Quantity and severity of “stress” events were higher in patients. Sleep disturbance was similar but for different reasons: patients (physical symptoms) and caregivers (worrying about the patient). Conclusions: EMAs are feasible and valued in community palliative care.

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