Article published: An overview of the GuardiansCan project

2023-07-24

In an article recently published in JMIR Research Protocols, the authors give an overview of the research project GuardiansCan where the researchers are developing and testing a mobile health intervention increase guardians’ adherence to children’s care after cancer treatment.

Person holding a phone.

Improve adherence and mitigate distress

Childhood cancer is a grave concern, especially in low- and middle-income countries like Tanzania, where survival rates can drop as low as 20%. A contributing factor to this statistic is the abandonment of treatment by caregivers due to challenges such as poor communication, limited cancer knowledge, and psychological distress.

The GuardiansCan project aims to address the issue of low adherence among Tanzanian caregivers to children's follow-up care after acute lymphoblastic leukemia treatment using mobile health (mHealth) technology. The primary goals are to enhance caregivers' adherence to medication schedules and follow-up visits while mitigating their psychological distress.

Project design and implementation

Following the established Medical Research Council (MRC) Framework, the GuardiansCan project will employ an iterative approach to develop and evaluate an mHealth intervention. Through public contribution activities facilitated by a Guardians Advisory Board consisting of caregivers of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acceptability, feasibility, and impact will be assessed via an impact log and semi-structured interviews (Study I).

Phase One (intervention development) will involve focus group discussions and the use of photovoice techniques to explore caregivers' needs and preferences regarding follow-up care reminders, information dissemination, and emotional support (Study II). The mHealth intervention will then be co-designed, engaging caregivers, healthcare professionals, and technology experts (Study III).

Phase Two (feasibility) will entail a pragmatic feasibility study incorporating mixed methods (Study IV) to address clinical, methodological, and procedural uncertainties associated with the intervention and study protocols.

The GuardiansCan project is anticipated to collect data over a three-year period, with the recruitment of Guardians Advisory Board members scheduled for autumn 2023. Professor Louise von Essen is the principal investigator for the project.

Read the article ‘Development and feasibility of a mHealth intervention to improve guardians' adherence to children's follow up care after treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia in Tanzania: An overview of the GuardiansCan project’. It is written by Faraja Chiwanga, Joanne Woodford, Golden Masika, David Richards, and Victor Savi.

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Last modified: 2023-03-24