Up to 25% of people with cancer will become clinically depressed, significantly affecting their quality of life and overall functioning. Depression has been associated with a decreased ability to tolerate and complete cancer treatment, as well as significantly increased healthcare costs. Unfortunately, about 75% of cancer patients with depression do not receive adequate treatment, and that likelihood is even greater for patients in rural settings. Although the CoCM model has been shown to be highly effective in the cancer setting, high-fidelity implementation has been slow, particularly in low-resourced and rural areas. The use of technology has the potential to enhance implementation and fidelity of CoCM in diverse cancer settings.
The research project “Using Technology to Optimize Collaborative Care Management of Depression in Urban and Rural Cancer Centers,” funded by the National Cancer Institute, will explore and build on this potential. This study is using a human-centered design approach to develop, build, and test a web and mobile platform to enhance the implementation and fidelity of CoCM of depression for patients being treated at 2 urban and 2 rural cancer centers. Patient-facing web and mobile applications and a clinician-facing website will aim to: (1) enhance treatment engagement among patients and clinicians; (2) collect timely patient-reported outcomes for measurement-based care; (3) promote patient-centered shared decision-making for better treatment adjustments; and (4) maximize adherence to evidence-based guideline-level behavioral and pharmacologic treatments. Once developed, the technology-enhanced CoCM model will be compared to usual CoCM to evaluate their ability to achieve optimal fidelity of CoCM and clinical outcomes.