Coaching and question prompt list improve patient-oncologist communication
The cluster randomized controlled trial included 170 patients with advanced nonhaematologic cancer and their caregivers. The study participants were recruited from practices of 24 oncologists in New York. The intervention arm of the study included 12 oncologists who underwent individualized communication training and 84 patients who had individualized previsit coaching sessions with QPL. The other 12 oncologists and 86 patients in the control group received no interventions.
Results showed that 70.2 percent of patients in the intervention group brought up QPL-related topics compared with only 32.6 percent of patients in the control group (p<0.001). More patients in the intervention group (16.7 percent) asked about prognosis compared to the control group (5.8 percent; p=0.03).
A majority of the topics of interest identified during the previsit coaching were QPL-related and among these, 12.7 percent involved prognosis.
Combining previsit individualized coaching and QPL intervention resulted in a more effective patient-oncologist dialogue. This helped advanced cancer patients and their caregivers identify and ask about topics of concern.