Understanding data and information needs for palliative cancer care to inform digital health intervention development in Nigeria, Uganda and Zimbabwe: protocol for a multicountry qualitative study Journal Articles uri icon

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  • IntroductionPalliative care is a clinically and cost‐effective component of cancer services in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Despite the significant need for palliative cancer care in SSA, coverage remains inadequate. The exploration of digital health approaches could support increases in the quality and reach of palliative cancer care services in SSA. However, there is currently a lack of any theoretical underpinning or data to understand stakeholder drivers for digital health components in this context. This project addresses this gap through engaging with key stakeholders to determine data and information needs that could be supported through digital health interventions.Methods and analysisThis is a multicountry, cross-sectional, qualitative study conducted in Nigeria, Uganda and Zimbabwe. In-depth interviews will be conducted in patients with advanced cancer (n=20), caregivers (n=15), health professionals (n=20) and policy-makers (n=10) in each of the three participating countries. Data from a total of 195 interviews will transcribed verbatim and translated into English before being imported into NVivo software for deductive framework analysis. The analysis will seek to understand the acceptability and define mechanisms of patient-level data capture and usage via digital technologies.Ethics and disseminationEthics approvals have been obtained from the Institutional Review Boards of University of Leeds (Ref: MREC 18–032), Research Council of Zimbabwe (Ref: 03507), Medical Research Council of Zimbabwe (Ref: MRCZ/A/2421), Uganda Cancer Institute (Ref: 19–2018), Uganda National Council of Science and Technology (Ref: HS325ES) and College of Medicine University of Lagos (Ref: HREC/15/04/2015). The project seeks to determine optimal mechanisms for the design and development of subsequent digital health interventions to support development, access to, and delivery of palliative cancer care in SSA. Dissemination of these findings will occur through newsletters and press releases, conference presentations, peer-reviewed journals and social media.Trial registration numberISRCTN15727711


  • Okunade, Kehinde
  • Bashan Nkhoma, Kennedy
  • Salako, Omolola
  • Akeju, David
  • Ebenso, Bassey
  • Namisango, Eve
  • Soyannwo, Olaitan
  • Namukwaya, Elizabeth
  • Dandadzi, Adlight
  • Nabirye, Elizabeth
  • Mupaza, Lovemore
  • Luyirika, Emmanuel
  • Ddungu, Henry
  • Chirenje, Z Mike
  • Bennett, Michael I
  • Harding, Richard
  • Allsop, Matthew J

publication date

  • October 2019