Background: The major growth of mobile technologies in the recent years has led to the development of medical-monitoring applications, particularly on smartphones.
Aim: The aim of this study was to review the use of m-health in the monitoring of patients with chronic pathologies in order to consider what could be adapted for palliative care patients at home.
Design: A systematic review of the English and French literature was conducted according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses criteria.
Date Sources: The review screened the following databases: PUBMED, SCOPUS, COCHRANE, SCIENCE DIRECT, SUDOC, and EM-Premium, screening studies published between 2008 and 2018. The selection of articles was done by the main investigator. All studies concerning the use of m-Health apps for patients with chronic diseases were included.
Results: From the 337 selected publications, 8 systematic reviews and 14 original studies were included. The main uses of m-Health apps were biological and clinical monitoring (particularly concerning the symptoms) in 75% of the applications, disease self-management in 64% of the applications, and therapeutic patient education in 50% of the applications, with remote monitoring.
Conclusions: The development of an m-Health application could become a complementary monitoring tool during palliative care. However, it seems important to question the impact of technique in the professional–patient relationship and avoid the pitfalls of standardizing palliative care and reducing the patient to a “sick” health technician. A future step would then be to define which health-care professional would be in charge of this “m-monitoring.”
Background: Grieving relatives can suffer from numerous consequences like anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, and prolonged grief. This study aims to assess the psychological consequences of grieving relatives after patients’ death in French palliative care units and their needs for support.
Methods: This is a prospective observational multicenter mixed study. Relatives of adult patients with a neoplasia expected to be hospitalized more than 72 h in a palliative care unit for end-of-life issues will be included within 48 h after patient admission. End-of-life issues are defined by the physician at patient admission. Relatives who are not able to have a phone call at 6-months are excluded. The primary outcome is the incidence of prolonged grief reaction defined by an ICG (Inventory Complicate Grief) > 25 (0 best-76 worst) at 6 months after patient’ death. Prespecified secondary outcomes are the risk factors of prolonged grief, anxiety and depression symptoms between day 3 and day 5 and at 6 months after patients’ death based on an Hospital Anxiety and Depression score (range 0–42) > 8 for each subscale (minimal clinically important difference: 2.5), post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms 6 months after patient’ death based on the Impact of Events Scale questionnaire (0 best-88 worst) score > 22, experience of relatives during palliative care based on the Fami-Life questionnaire, specifically built for the study. Between 6 and 12 months after the patient’s death, a phone interview with relatives with prolonged grief reactions will be planned by a psychologist to understand the complex system of grief. It will be analyzed with the Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. We planned to enroll 500 patients and their close relatives assuming a 25% prolonged grief rate and a 6-month follow-up available in 60% of relatives.
Discussion: This study will be the first to report the psychological consequences of French relatives after a loss of a loved one in palliative care units. Evaluating relatives’ experiences can provide instrumental insights for means of improving support for relatives and evaluation of bereavement programs.
Trial registration: NCT03748225 registered on 11/19/2018. Recruiting patients.