Barriers and facilitators to the implementation of audio-recordings and question prompt lists in cancer care consultations: A qualitative study

Patient Educ Couns. 2017 Jun;100(6):1083-1091. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2017.01.005. Epub 2017 Jan 16.


Objective: Question prompt lists (QPLs) and consultation audio-recordings (CARs) are two communication strategies that can assist cancer patients in understanding and recalling information. We aimed to explore clinician and organisational barriers and facilitators to implementing QPLs and CARs into usual care.

Methods: Semi-structured interviews with twenty clinicians and senior hospital administrators, recruited from four hospitals. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim and thematic descriptive analysis was utilised.

Results: CARs and QPLs are to some degree already being initiated by patients but not embedded in usual care. Systematic use should be driven by patient preference. Successful implementation will depend on minimal burden to clinical environments and feedback about patient use. CARs concerns included: medico-legal issues, ability of the CAR to be shared beyond the consultation, and recording and storage logistics within existing medical record systems. QPLs issues included: applicability of the QPLs, ensuring patients who might benefit from QPL's are able to access them, and limited use when there are other existing communication strategies.

Conclusions: While CARs and QPLs are beneficial for patients, there are important individual, system and medico-legal considerations regarding usual care.

Practice implications: Identifying and addressing practical implications of CARs and QPLs prior to clinical implementation is essential.

Keywords: Audio-recording; Cancer; Communication; Patient-centred care; Question prompt lists qualitative.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Communication*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Patient Participation*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Referral and Consultation / organization & administration*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tape Recording / statistics & numerical data*