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Digital Living Guidance During Stem Cell Transplants

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Research published in

The JMIR Formative Study reports that the authors initiated a single-arm pilot study to investigate patient engagement in digital life coaching during this period ( DLC) feasibility-intensive period.

Beginning on day -5 before stem cell transplantation, enrolled patients received a 16-week virtual life coach ( SCT), including their hospitalization for high-dose chemotherapy and the transplant itself. Coaches use a structured framework to help patients identify and overcome personal health barriers. Patients selected counseling topics and preferred communication methods.

The authors found that patients were able to interact with their coaches during this intensive period through phone calls and text messages Conducted in both directions, the average conversation frequency was once every 6.2 days during the 3-month study period. Based on the positive results of this pilot study, a larger Phase 2 randomized study of DLC during SCT is underway to investigate the efficacy of DLC on patient health during SCT, supported by the ASCO Conquer Cancer Foundation Young Investigator Award.

The research team concluded: “Selected patients undergoing autologous SCT following high-dose chemotherapy can meaningfully live with Coaches interacted with their mobile phone, even during the 2-week hospital stay. A randomized phase 2 study evaluating the efficacy of DLC in this population is ongoing. If future studies demonstrate DLC in improving QOL and symptom burden during SCT effectiveness, this type of intervention may eventually become a routine tool to support patient health during intensive treatment for cancer.”

Dr. Banerjee from UCSF, the study’s lead author, added, “One of the advantages of digitally enabled tools like DLC is their convenience for patients and their scalability across institutions.” Much of the supportive care research during the period has focused on tools that require additional visits and on-site expertise from an acupuncturist, music therapist or others. In contrast, patients can use DLC from their mobile phones, whether in the hospital or at home Easy access to their coach.”

However, he cautioned that DLC must be done in a way that avoids exacerbating the patient’s to widen the “digital divide” between them. While their pilot study required enrolling patients to have a personal smartphone and speak English, they are actively investigating strategies to expand the DLC into other areas.


For more information: Rahul Banerjee et al. During Stem Cell Transplantation Digital Living Mentoring: Development and Usability Research,

JMIR Formative Research (2022). DOI: 10.2196/33701

published by JMIR


citations : Digital Life Guidance During Stem Cell Transplantation (29 Jul 2022) Retrieved 27 Aug 2022 from stem-cell-transplantation.html

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