Effects of an interactive tailored patient assessment on patient-clinician communication in cancer care

Psychooncology. 2013 Jan;22(1):89-96. doi: 10.1002/pon.2064. Epub 2011 Sep 15.


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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Communication*
  • Cues*
  • Emotions*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multilevel Analysis
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Norway
  • Patient Care
  • Patient Participation*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tape Recording
  • Videotape Recording