Impact of providing audiotapes of primary adjuvant treatment consultations to women with breast cancer: a multisite, randomized, controlled trial

J Clin Oncol. 2003 Nov 15;21(22):4138-44. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2003.12.155.


Purpose: Women with breast cancer were provided with an audiotape of their primary adjuvant treatment consultation, and the following patient outcomes were measured at 12 weeks postconsultation: perceived degree of information provision, audiotape satisfaction and use, communication satisfaction with oncologist, mood state, and cancer-specific quality of life.

Patients and methods: Participants included 628 women newly diagnosed with breast cancer and 40 oncologists from six cancer centers in Canada. The patients were block randomized to one of four consultation groups: standard care control, not audiotaped; audiotaped, no audiotape given; audiotaped, patient given audiotape; and audiotaped, patient offered choice of receiving audiotape or not.

Results: Patients receiving the consultation audiotape had significantly better recall of having discussed side effects of treatment 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 postconsultation, and was not significantly affected by choice of receiving the audiotape. Patients rated the audiotape intervention positively, with an average score of 83.9 of 100.

Conclusion: Audiotape provision benefits patients by facilitating their perception of being informed about treatment side effects, but does not significantly influence patient satisfaction with communication, mood state, or quality of life.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Communication
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Oncology / standards*
  • Mental Recall
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Patient Education as Topic / standards*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Quality of Life
  • Research Design
  • Tape Recording / methods*
  • Total Quality Management