Changes during the pandemic have meant that people affected by cancer are relying more and more on teleconsultation, also known as virtual midlife follow-up via the Internet, using a computer or tablet.
Research shows that teleconsultation brings benefits in terms of access to care, the relationship between professionals and patients and their loved ones, the ability to take care of oneself, and reduced transport and parking costs. These benefits depend on the characteristics of the people providing and receiving care. Some people prefer face-to-face consultations and do not wish to continue teleconsulting after the pandemic. For others, a virtual follow-up could be envisaged, provided that individual needs and preferences are taken into account. We want virtual follow-up to be a choice, not an obligation. We also know that benefits vary according to environment or geographic location. In Quebec, there is little research to help us better understand how this virtual follow-up is set up, for which people, with which member of the oncology team and under what conditions.
The proposed research focuses on the importance of properly organizing the growing use of virtual monitoring in the living environment. We’ll be looking at how virtual follow-up in the midlife setting is being implemented for sufferers receiving oral anticancer drugs, and which ways of doing things hold the most promise for continuing to deliver safe, quality care by the right person, at the right time, in the right place. Our study will determine the acceptability and feasibility of virtual follow-up in the living environment, from the perspective of the people involved in this new model of care, with a view to determining what works well and what needs to be improved to continue towards this approach to care.
Our research will provide new insights into the deployment of virtual follow-up in the living environment, taking into account Quebec’s priorities for modernizing care and services for people affected by cancer. The results will help inform decisions by integrating aspects of care and how to organize it effectively to offer choices that give the best possible chance of coping with cancer and contribute to the best possible quality of life.