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Advancing Research Methodology for Measuring & Monitoring Patient-centered Communication in Cancer Care

The Outcomes Research Branch (ORB)-sponsored monograph Patient-Centered Communication in Cancer Care: Promoting Healing and Reducing Suffering identifies six key functions that characterize effective patient-centered communication processes in cancer care:

  • fostering clinician-patient relationships;
  • exchanging information;
  • responding to patients' emotions;
  • managing uncertainty;
  • making decisions; and
  • enabling patient self-management (including facilitating navigation, improving coordination, and supporting patient autonomy).

A critical step in facilitating the delivery of patient-centered communication (PCC) as part of routine cancer care delivery is creating a measurement and monitoring system that will allow for the ongoing assessment, tracking, and improvement of these six functions of patient-centered communication. To build the foundation of such a system and to advance research methodology in this area, the ORB has collaborated with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) on a research project conducted within AHRQ's DEcIDE network.

The project, conducted by RTI InternationalExternal Web Site Policy, was launched in 2007. The project focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and post-treatment survivorship phases of the cancer care continuum and has three specific objectives:

  1. identify specific domains and sub-domains that characterize each of the six functions of patient-centered communication;
  2. identify candidate measures and describe data collection methods for longitudinal assessment of the various domains and sub-domains identified for the six functions of patient-centered communication; and
  3. conduct a scientific symposium on research methods for measuring and monitoring patient-centered communication in cancer care.

Last Modified: 03 Sep 2013