Instituto Pedro Nunes
IPN     IPN Incubadora

Oncommunities: Comunidade online de suporte ao cancro


Oncological diagnosis and treatment causes a high psychosocial impact, generating significant emotional distress and quality of life deterioration. Health education and psychosocial care in cancer have already demonstrated its effectiveness in reducing this emotional distress and in improving quality of life. However, access to psychosocial care and health education still poses important barriers, such as poor early detection, long waiting lists and restrictions for work, mobility, or economic issues.
Being diagnosed with cancer generates significant emotional distress in many patients (35% to 38%). However, only a small proportion is currently being identified (5-10%) and referred for psychosocial attendance by oncology professionals. Considering that emotional distress and the absence of this proper health education and psychosocial care tend to derive in poorer quality of life (QL), less adherence to oncological treatments, overall survival and selfcare, it is relevant to react against this lack of attention.
Recent studies show how stepped health education and psychosocial care interventions are an ingenious response to the challenge of offering an early, proportionate, broad and more cost-effective treatment. Although there is empirical evidence separately of good clinical results in the use of screening systems, monitoring, and online psychosocial care in cancer, we have not found worldwide evidence of similar integrated and stepped educational system.


Oncommun is an innovative four-level stepped-care and education system to respond timely the needs of each patient. This system results disruptive in the current health system, combining different technologies according to: cancer survivor emotional distress and complexity needs of the educational intervention. We define 4 steps:
1st Step: Screening and monitoring. Our Central Mobile App permits:
(a) a detection-system for critical health education and psychosocial needs (b) a monitoring tool to follow health and psychosocial issues in relevant transitions, (c) to register pharmacological adherence. (d) Instant symptom management education based in oncological nurse decisional tree technology.
2nd Step: Campus for patients (Moodle Technology) connected and logged on with Central Mobile App. This Campus permits access to health professionals prescribed online material (videos, posts, ...).
3rd Step: Social Net Web-App (private and vertical net) call “Oncommunies”. They will interact asynchronously and anonymously with other cancer patients and health professionals sharing validated information and giving mutual emotional support. A matching algorithm with machine learning to pair cancer survivor’s mentors and mentorees will be tested.
4th step: Intensive health education and psychosocial empowerment. We offer to enrole in 8-weekly sessions of online face-to-face support groups via multi videoconference guided for health professional.

Objectives, Activities and Results expected / achieved

 In update

Project Reference



EIT Health
EIT Health

Intervention Region


Total Investment


IPN Investment


Total Eligible


IPN Eligible


EC Funding – Total

EU - 372.865,00

EC Funding – IPN

EU - 16.562,00


12 meses

Start Date


End Date


Approval Date



Instituto Pedro Nunes
Instytut Medycyny Pracy im. J. Nofera w Łodzi
Universitat de Barcelona
Fundacio Institut d'Investigació Biomèdica de Bellvitge
Servicio Madrileño de Salud
Fundación para la Investigación Biomédica del Hospital Gregorio Marañón
Institut Català d'Oncologia
Instituto Português de Oncologia de Coimbra


Santa Creu i Sant Pau Hospital; Docline; Trilema



 Breast Cancer; Health Knowledge Management; Health Network