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Breast Cancer Research Trust NZ, gaining knowledge and saving lives

ABCpro study

A study evaluating a new online service for managing self-reported symptoms by women with advanced breast cancer


The oncology service at Waikato Hospital is partnering with Breast Cancer Foundation NZ to improve our service for patients with advanced breast cancer (ABC). ABC is also known as metastatic, stage 4 or incurable breast cancer.
This study is introducing a new service where patients complete weekly online surveys about common symptoms of ABC and side effects associated with ABC treatments. The survey responses are then sent to an ABC nurse who will use the responses to assist patients to better manage symptoms and side effects from home in between regular clinic visits. The survey responses will also help your oncology team to decide if you need further tests or treatments.

Scientific Title

Patient Reported Outcome Measures for Individualised Symptom Evaluation and Management in Advanced Breast Cancer: A pre-post cohort study.


Each year, up to 400 women in New Zealand are diagnosed with advanced breast cancer (ABC) where breast cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
Management of symptoms in patients with ABC is mainly addressed at follow-up medical oncology appointments, or during medical oncology treatment visits. This approach to management of symptoms, results in many patients (particularly when on endocrine therapies) having long intervals without interaction with the health care system and their specialist Oncology team. As a consequence, women endure chronic symptoms that they largely have to manage themselves, often with poor quality of life.
The aim of this study is to assess the impact and acceptability of a customised, electronic, nurse-initiated patient symptom management programme, integrated with clinical decision support, for reporting and managing of symptoms of patients with ABC. The effect on symptom management,  quality of life and unscheduled hospital care will be evaluated. The use of an electronic symptom management programme (ABCpro survey) combined with integrated clinical decision support  is unique and a novelty, that has not  been used in the oncology setting before. The transition to telehealth care in the COVID-19 era has encouraged the use of Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) in clinical practice