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Impact of mobile applications on adherence to cancer treatment: a systematic review and meta-analysis protocol
  1. Kleyton Santos Medeiros1,
  2. Janice França Queiroz1,
  3. Michelly Nóbrega Monteiro1,
  4. Weruska Alcoforado Costa1,
  5. Ricardo Ney Cobucci2,
  6. Beatriz Stransky3,
  7. Ana Katherine Gonçalves1
  1. 1 Health Science Postgraduate Program, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, Brazil
  2. 2 Universidade Potiguar Unidade Salgado Filho, Natal, Brazil
  3. 3 Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Centro de Tecnologia, Natal, Brazil
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ana Katherine Gonçalves; anakatherine_ufrnet{at}


Introduction The number of patients taking oral chemotherapy is increasing around the world. It is essential to maximise the adherence to oral chemotherapy to improve the overall survival and life expectancy of the patients. In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we aim to evaluate the effectiveness of mobile applications in improving the adherence to oral chemotherapy and adjuvant hormonal therapy in cancer survivors.

Methods and analysis MEDLINE, Embase, LILACS,, Scopus and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials will be searched for randomised or quasi-experimental studies published between January 2009 and July 2019. This systematic review and meta-analysis will include studies investigating the use of mobile applications by cancer survivors to aid adherence to oral chemotherapy and adjuvant hormonal therapy. Patient education, reminder tools, calendars, pillboxes and electronic reminders will not be evaluated. The primary outcome will be the improvement in adherence to anticancer drugs. The secondary outcomes will be an improvement in the overall survival and life expectancy, improved quality of life and control of cancer-related symptoms. Three independent reviewers will select the studies and extract data from the original publications. The risk-of-bias will be assessed using the Cochrane risk-of-bias tool. Data synthesis will be performed using the Review Manager software (RevMan V.5.2.3). To assess heterogeneity, we will compute the I2 statistics. Additionally, a quantitative synthesis will be performed if the included studies are sufficiently homogenous.

Ethics and dissemination This study will be a review of the published data, and thus, ethical approval is not required. Findings of this systematic review will be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

PROSPERO registration number CRD42018102172.

  • mobile application
  • medication adherence
  • oral anticancer agents
  • health informatics
  • patient compliance

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:

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  • Contributors KSM, BS and AKG designed this systematic review and meta-analysis. KSM drafted the manuscript, and AKG revised it. KSM, RNC and AKG developed the search strategies and KSM, JFQ and MNM will implement it. KSM, MNM, JFQ and WAC will track potential studies, extract data and assess the quality; in case of disagreement between the authors, AKG will advise on the methodology and will be the referee. RNC will complete the data synthesis. All authors have approved the final version of this manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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