Evaluation of an educational program to improve communication with patients about early-phase trial participation

Fallowfield, L J, Solis-Trapala, I and Jenkins, V A (2012) Evaluation of an educational program to improve communication with patients about early-phase trial participation. Oncologist, 17 (3). pp. 377-383. ISSN 1083-7159

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AbstractBackground. Discussing early-phase cancer trials is challenging; most offer little personal benefit to patients with life-limiting illnesses who frequently have a poor understanding of and misconceptions about the therapeutic aims. We evaluated an evidence-based training program aimed at enhancing communication.Methods. Prior to and after the intervention, 47 health care professionals (HCPs) experienced in early-phase trial recruitment were audio taped discussing trials with patient simulators who completed postinterview evaluations. Coders rated the interviews for the presence of information areas required to elicit ethical consent. HCPs reported their self-confidence on 15 different aspects of trial discussion.Results. Significant objective and subjective improvements in communication were found after the workshop. Analyses of audio tapes showed positive shifts in: establishing the patient's knowledge of their prognosis (odds ratio [OR], 2.7; p = .002), discussing symptomatic care (OR, 3.8; p < .001), the aims of the trial (OR, 2.6; p =.002), and the unlikelihood of medical benefit (OR, 3.0; p = .021). Patient simulator ratings showed improvements in: the awareness of palliative care and symptom control (OR, 2.1; p = .004), the voluntariness of participation (OR, 3.7; p = .015), the opportunity to ask questions (OR, 2.9; p = .044), and the time to consider participation (OR, 6.1; p = .009). HCPs' self-confidence increased significantly for all 15 items (OR range, 1.5-2.9; p </= .001).Conclusion. This short, intensive workshop changed communication skills competency and self-efficacy in ways likely to promote valid, ethically informed consent from patients contemplating trial entry.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Journal article The oncologist Oncologist. 2012 Mar 1.
Keywords: Phase I and phase II trials; communication skills training
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Sussex Health Outcomes Research & Education in Cancer (SHORE-C)
Subjects: R Medicine
R Medicine > R Medicine (General) > R727 Medical personnel and the public. Physician and the public
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology Including cancer and carcinogens
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Depositing User: Kathryn Monson
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2012 07:41
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2013 11:21
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/38666
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