Medical College of Wisconsin
CTSICores SearchResearch InformaticsREDCap

Using a Heuristic App to Improve Symptom Self-Management in Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer. J Adolesc Young Adult Oncol 2019 04;8(2):131-141



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85064115784   16 Citations


PURPOSE: Adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer need self-management strategies to cope with multiple symptoms. Self-efficacy, self-regulation, and negotiated collaboration are key theoretical components of the self-management process and have not been fully explored with AYAs with cancer. This study examined the effects of a heuristic symptom assessment tool on AYAs' self-efficacy for symptom management, AYAs' self-regulation abilities related to their symptoms, and communication with their providers about symptoms.

METHODS: AYAs (15-29 years of age) receiving chemotherapy used the Computerized Symptom Capture Assessment Tool (C-SCAT) to illustrate their symptom experience and discuss their symptoms with providers during two clinic visits. Participants completed the PROMIS Self-efficacy for Managing Symptoms Scale, a measure of satisfaction with provider communication, and a short interview about self-regulation and communication behaviors at baseline and after each provider visit.

RESULTS: Eighty-five AYAs who used the C-SCAT showed improved self-efficacy for managing symptoms. Qualitative data suggest that the C-SCAT was useful for enhancing a number of AYAs' self-regulation abilities related to symptom management, such as awareness and recall of symptoms, how symptoms were related, and how they planned to talk about their symptoms to providers. AYAs reported C-SCAT facilitated communication with providers about symptoms and symptom management because it was a visual prompt showing priority and related symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS: Because AYAs continue to experience multiple distressing symptoms, symptom self-management remains an important area for practice and research. Use of heuristic tools, such as the C-SCAT, may help AYAs more effectively self-manage their symptoms for better health outcomes.

Author List

Erickson JM, Ameringer S, Linder L, Macpherson CF, Elswick RK Jr, Luebke JM, Stegenga K


Jeanne M. Erickson PhD, RN Associate Professor in the College of Nursing department at University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Computers, Handheld
Follow-Up Studies
Health Personnel
Longitudinal Studies
Palliative Care
Physician-Patient Relations
Self Efficacy
Symptom Assessment
Young Adult