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A Web-based communication aid for patients with cancer†
The CONNECT Study
Article first published online: 18 JAN 2013
Copyright © 2013 American Cancer Society
Volume 119, Issue 7, pages 1437–1445, 1 April 2013
How to Cite
Meropol, N. J., Egleston, B. L., Buzaglo, J. S., Balshem, A., Benson, A. B., Cegala, D. J., Cohen, R. B., Collins, M., Diefenbach, M. A., Miller, S. M., Fleisher, L., Millard, J. L., Ross, E. A., Schulman, K. A., Silver, A., Slater, E., Solarino, N., Sulmasy, D. P., Trinastic, J. and Weinfurt, K. P. (2013), A Web-based communication aid for patients with cancer. Cancer, 119: 1437–1445. doi: 10.1002/cncr.27874
Clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT00244868.
- Issue published online: 18 MAR 2013
- Article first published online: 18 JAN 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 14 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Received: 30 JUL 2012
- cancer communication;
- health communication;
- physician-patient communication;
Cancer patients and their oncologists often report differing perceptions of consultation discussions and discordant expectations regarding treatment outcomes. CONNECT, a computer-based communication aid, was developed to improve communication between patients and oncologists.
CONNECT includes assessment of patient values, goals, and communication preferences; patient communication skills training; and a preconsultation physician summary report. CONNECT was tested in a 3-arm, prospective, randomized clinical trial. Prior to the initial medical oncology consultation, adult patients with advanced cancer were randomized to the following arms: 1) control; 2) CONNECT with physician summary; or 3) CONNECT without physician summary. Outcomes were assessed with postconsultation surveys.
Of 743 patients randomized, 629 completed postconsultation surveys. Patients in the intervention arms (versus control) felt that the CONNECT program made treatment decisions easier to reach (P = .003) and helped them to be more satisfied with these decisions (P < .001). In addition, patients in the intervention arms reported higher levels of satisfaction with physician communication format (P = .026) and discussion regarding support services (P = .029) and quality of life concerns (P = .042). The physician summary did not impact outcomes. Patients with higher levels of education and poorer physical functioning experienced greater benefit from CONNECT.
This prospective randomized clinical trial demonstrates that computer-based communication skills training can positively affect patient satisfaction with communication and decision-making. Measurable patient characteristics may be used to identify subgroups most likely to benefit from an intervention such as CONNECT. Cancer 2013. © 2013 American Cancer Society.