Patient free text reporting of symptomatic adverse events in cancer clinical research using the National Cancer Institute's Patient-Reported Outcomes version of the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (PRO-CTCAE).
Journal: J Am Med Inform Assoc
Date: 2019 Apr 1
Major Program(s) or Research Group(s): COPTRG, OD
PubMed ID: 30840079
PMC ID: PMC6402312
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: The study sought to describe patient-entered supplemental information on symptomatic adverse events (AEs) in cancer clinical research reported via a National Cancer Institute software system and examine the feasibility of mapping these entries to established terminologies. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients in 3 multicenter trials electronically completed surveys during cancer treatment. Each survey included a prespecified subset of items from the National Cancer Institute's Patient-Reported Outcomes version of the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (PRO-CTCAE). Upon completion of the survey items, patients could add supplemental symptomatic AE information in a free text box. As patients typed into the box, structured dropdown terms could be selected from the PRO-CTCAE item library or Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities (MedDRA), or patients could type unstructured free text for submission. RESULTS: Data were pooled from 1760 participants (48% women; 78% White) who completed 8892 surveys, of which 2387 (26.8%) included supplemental symptomatic AE information. Overall, 1024 (58%) patients entered supplemental information at least once, with an average of 2.3 per patient per study. This encompassed 1474 of 8892 (16.6%) dropdowns and 913 of 8892 (10.3%) unstructured free text entries. One-third of the unstructured free text entries (32%) could be mapped post hoc to a PRO-CTCAE term and 68% to a MedDRA term. DISCUSSION: Participants frequently added supplemental information beyond study-specific survey items. Almost half selected a structured dropdown term, although many opted to submit unstructured free text entries. Most free text entries could be mapped post hoc to PRO-CTCAE or MedDRA terms, suggesting opportunities to enhance the system to perform real-time mapping for AE reporting. CONCLUSIONS: Patient reporting of symptomatic AEs using a text box functionality with mapping to existing terminologies is both feasible and informative.