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Keywords:

  • interactive tailored patient assessment (ITPA);
  • patient–clinician communication;
  • cancer patients;
  • patients' active participation;
  • oncology

Abstract

Background

To test the effect of Choice, an interactive tailored patient assessment (ITPA) tool on the number and types of symptoms addressed during consultations with cancer patients, cancer patients' active participation during consultation with clinicians, and clinicians' responses.

Method

A total of 193 consultations were audio taped and coded with the task-oriented part of Roter Interactive Assessment System. In addition, we recorded the initiator of each coded utterance (clinician or patient) as defined by Verona Coding Definitions of Emotional Sequences and indicated the symptoms addressed in a list of all symptoms within the Choice ITPA. Of the 193 consultations, 99 were standard consultations that served as a control group. In the 94 intervention group consultations, patients utilized the Choice ITPA prior to the consultation, and the assessment summary was available to both patients and clinicians. We compared the two groups in both multilevel and multivariate analyses.

Results

We found significantly more symptoms addressed in the intervention group as compared with the control group. We also found that the patients asked more questions in the intervention group, indicating that they were more active participants when utilizing Choice. The clinicians also provided more information in the intervention group.

Conclusion

The Choice ITPA was successful in making cancer patients more active participants in the consultation with their clinician. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.