• consultation recordings;
  • communication;
  • patient-physician;
  • prostate cancer;
  • cancer;
  • oncology


Background: The purpose of this investigation was to systematically examine the efficacy of providing men with prostate cancer with an audiotape of their primary treatment consultation.

Method: Participants included 425 men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer and 15 radiation oncologists from 4 cancer centers in Canada. Patients were block randomized to one of four consultation groups: 1. Standard care control—not audio-taped; 2. Audio-taped—no audiotape given; 3. Audio-taped—patient given audiotape; and 4. Audio-taped—patient offered choice of receiving audiotape or not (4 patients declined; 94 accepted). Patient outcomes were measured at 12 weeks post-consultation: perceived degree of information provision; audiotape satisfaction and use; communication satisfaction with oncologist; mood state; and cancer-specific quality of life.

Results: Patients receiving the consultation audiotape reported having been provided with significantly more disease and treatment information in general (p=0.04), and more information about treatment alternatives (p=0.04) and treatment side effects (p=0.01) in particular, than patients who did not receive the audiotape. Audiotape benefit was not significantly related to patient satisfaction with communication, mood state or quality of life at 12 weeks post-consultation, and was not significantly affected by choice of receiving the audiotape. Patients rated the audiotape intervention positively, with an average score of 83.0 out of 100.

Conclusion: Consultation audiotapes are rated highly by men with prostate cancer, and these audiotapes help to enhance their perception of having been provided with critical disease- and treatment-related information. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.