Ethics. Research. Community.

Randomized controlled trial of a prompt list to help advanced cancer patients and their caregivers to ask questions about pro...

[Randomized controlled trial of a prompt list to help advanced cancer patients and their caregivers to ask questions about prognosis and end-of-life care.]
Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. 
[Record Source: PubMed]
PURPOSE: To determine whether provision of a question prompt list (QPL) influences advanced cancer patients'/caregivers' questions and discussion of topics relevant to end-of-life care during consultations with a palliative care (PC) physician. PATIENTS AND METHODS: This randomized controlled trial included patients randomly assigned to standard consultation or provision of QPL before consultation, with endorsement of the QPL by the physician during the consultation. Consecutive eligible patients with advanced cancer referred to 15 PC physicians from nine Australian PC services were invited to participate. Consultations were audiotaped, transcribed, and analyzed by blinded coders; patients completed questionnaires before, within 24 hours, and 3 weeks after the consultation. RESULTS: A total of 174 patients participated (92 QPL, 82 control). Compared with controls, QPL patients and caregivers asked twice as many questions (for patients, ratio, 2.3; 95% CI, 1.7 to 3.2; P < .0001), and patients discussed 23% more issues covered by the QPL (95% CI, 11% to 37%; P < .0001). QPL patients asked more prognostic questions (ratio, 2.3; 95% CI, 1.3 to 4.0; P = .004) and discussed more prognostic (ratio, 1.43; 95% CI, 1.1 to 1.8, P = .003) and end-of-life issues (30% v 10%; P = .001). Fewer QPL patients had unmet information needs about the future (21 = 4.14; P = .04), which was the area of greatest unmet information need. QPL consultations (average, 38 minutes) were longer (P = .002) than controls (average, 31 minutes). No differences between groups were observed in anxiety or patient/physician satisfaction. CONCLUSION: Providing a QPL and physician endorsement of its use assists terminally ill cancer patients and their caregivers to ask questions and promotes discussion about prognosis and end-of-life issues, without creating patient anxiety or impairing satisfaction.
Access the full text from your libraries at your institution.  You will be navigating away from EthicShare.

Database Keywords

Detailed Record Information

Record TypeJournal Article
Record Source Status