5 years ago

First experience with electronic feedback of the Psychosocial Assessment Tool in pediatric cancer care

Esther M. M. van den Bergh, Heleen Maurice-Stam, Simone M. Sint Nicolaas, Sasja A. Schepers, Martha A. Grootenhuis, Nienke de Boer, Chris M. Verhaak, Elisabeth M. van Dijk-Lokkart



The Psychosocial Assessment Tool (PAT) is a brief family screener, identifying families at universal or elevated risk for psychosocial problems. This study aimed to determine the feasibility and usability of the electronic PAT (ePAT) in pediatric cancer care.


Eighty-six parents of newly diagnosed children with cancer (0–18 years) agreed to participate and registered at the website www.hetklikt.nu (58%). Seventy-five families completed the ePAT at approximately 1 month post-diagnosis. Answers were transformed into an electronic PROfile (PAT ePROfile) and fed back to the psychosocial team. Team members completed a semi-structured evaluation questionnaire. Feasibility was measured as the percentage of website registrations, completed ePATs, and PAT ePROfiles reviewed or discussed by the team. Usability included perceived match of the PAT ePROfile with the team’s own risk estimation, perceived added value, and perceived actions undertaken as a result of the PAT ePROfile.


Feasibility was 70% for website registration, 87% for completed ePATs, 85% for PAT ePROfile reviewing, and 67% for ePROfile discussion. Team members reported that the PAT ePROfile matched with their own risk estimation (M = 7.92, SD = 1.88) and did not provide additional information (M = 2.18, SD = 2.30). According to the team, actions were undertaken for 25% of the families as a result of the PAT ePROfile. More actions were undertaken for families with elevated risk scores compared to universal risk scores (p = .007).


Implementation of the ePAT seems generally feasible, but it is not always clear how this screener adds to current clinical practice. Strategies should be developed together with team members to improve quick exchange of ePAT results and allocate care according to the needs of the families.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00520-017-3719-3

DOI: 10.1007/s00520-017-3719-3

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