Cardiovascular assessment tool for breast cancer survivors and oncology providers: Usability study

Kathryn E. Weaver, Heidi D. Klepin, Brian J. Wells, Emily V. Dressler, Karen M. Winkfield, Zanetta S. Lamar, Tiffany P. Avery, Nicholas M. Pajewski, W. Gregory Hundley, Aimee Johnson, Eleanor C. Davidson, Marcelo Lopetegui, Randi E. Foraker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Cardiovascular health is of increasing concern to breast cancer survivors and their health care providers, as many survivors are more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than cancer. Implementing clinical decision support tools to address cardiovascular risk factor awareness in the oncology setting may enhance survivors' attainment or maintenance of cardiovascular health. Objective: We sought to evaluate survivors' awareness of cardiovascular risk factors and examine the usability of a novel electronic health record enabled cardiovascular health tool from the perspective of both breast cancer survivors and oncology providers. Methods: Breast cancer survivors (n=49) recruited from a survivorship clinic interacted with the cardiovascular health tool and completed pre and posttool assessments about cardiovascular health knowledge and perceptions of the tool. Oncologists, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners (n=20) who provide care to survivors also viewed the cardiovascular health tool and completed assessments of perceived usability and acceptability. Results: Enrolled breast cancer survivors (84% White race, 4% Hispanic ethnicity) had been diagnosed 10.8 years ago (SD 6.0) with American Joint Committee on Cancer stage 0, I, or II (45/49, 92%). Prior to viewing the tool, 65% of survivors (32/49) reported not knowing their level for one or more cardiovascular health factors (range 0-4). On average, only 45% (range 0%-86%) of survivors' known cardiovascular health factors were at an ideal level. More than 50% of survivors had ideal smoking status (45/48, 94%) or blood glucose level (29/45, 64%); meanwhile, less than 50% had ideal blood pressure (12/49, 24%), body mass index (12/49, 24%), cholesterol level (17/35, 49%), diet (7/49, 14%), and physical activity (10/49. 20%). More than 90% of survivors thought the tool was easy to understand (46/47, 98%), improved their understanding (43/47, 91%), and was helpful (45/47, 96%); overall, 94% (44/47 survivors) liked the tool. A majority of survivors (44/47, 94%) thought oncologists should discuss cardiovascular health during survivorship care. Most (12/20, 60%) oncology providers (female: 12/20, 60%; physicians: 14/20, 70%) had been practicing for more than 5 years. Most providers agreed the tool provided useful information (18/20, 90%), would help their effectiveness (18/20, 90%), was easy to use (20/20, 100%), and presented information in a useful format (19/20, 95%); and 85% of providers (17/20) reported they would use the tool most or all of the time when providing survivorship care. Conclusions: These usability data demonstrate acceptability of a cardiovascular health clinical decision support tool in oncology practices. Oncology providers and breast cancer survivors would likely value the integration of such apps in survivorship care. By increasing awareness and communication regarding cardiovascular health, electronic health record-enabled tools may improve survivorship care delivery for breast cancer and ultimately patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere18396
JournalJMIR Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer survivors
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Clinical decision support
  • Electronic health records
  • Usability testing


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