Communication Study

25 August 2011

Purpose

This research looked at the communication of treatment options and the evaluation of a communication training programme.

Scientific Title

Communication about clinical trials and treatment options: A randomised controlled trial of a consultation skills training package.

Background

Patients and clinicians commonly report difficulties with the process of informed consent and audio-tape audits have shown that critical information is often omitted or poorly presented.  It is expected that a communication training programme will alter doctor behaviours during consultations, and impact on patient and doctor outcomes by improving patient’s quality of life, increasing patient understanding and satisfaction with decision-making. Participating doctors were randomised to receive training or not. This study was coordinated through the Medical Psychology Unit at Sydney University.

Results

Training can improve the process of gaining informed consent and should be made available to cancer doctors.

Publication

Communication about standard treatment options and clinical trials: can we teach doctors new skills to improve patient outcomes? Burnhard J, Butow P, Aldridge J, Jaraskova I, Ribi K and Brown R. Psycho-Oncology. 2011; DOI: 10.1002/pon.2044