The Development of a Nurse-Led Internet-Based Learning and Self-care Program for Cancer Patients With Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression—A Part of U-CARE

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Having access to information about the disease and being encouraged to participate in self-care activities may reduce anxiety and depression symptoms in cancer patients. Internet-based interventions may be one way to support effective self-care strategies to improve emotional well-being and health-related quality of life.


The aim of this study was to describe the development and acceptance of an Internet-based program intended to support cancer patients with anxiety and depression symptoms.


A structured collaboration between patients, clinicians, and researchers was used to develop a theory- and evidence-based interactive health communication application (IHCA) based on Orem’s self-care deficit nursing theory with influences from Bandura’s social learning theory and psychoeducation.


The result is an IHCA described as a Nurse-led, Internet-based Learning and Self-care program that helps patients to perform self-care using different types of material in interaction with patients and healthcare staff. The acceptance of the program is consistent with the results of similar studies.


Collaboration between patients, clinicians, and researchers seems to be a fruitful approach in the development of an IHCA aiming to support cancer patients’ self-care strategies. Well-designed intervention studies are needed to evaluate the effects of the IHCA.

Implications for Practice:

This article suggests a theoretical foundation for an IHCA and allows researchers and healthcare providers to take part in the discussion regarding format and content of IHCAs.

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