NLM logo
National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR)

HSRProj (Health Services Research Projects in Progress)

Information about ongoing health services research and public health projects


Improving communication between cancer patients and oncologists using patient feedback on actual conversations and the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification Program
Investigator (PI): Tulsky, James
Performing Organization (PO): (Current): Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care (POPC) / (617) 632-6464
(Past): Duke University, School of Medicine, Department of Medicine / (919) 668-1755
Supporting Agency (SA): Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)
Initial Year: 2015
Final Year: 2019
Record Source/Award ID: PCORI/CDR-091501-IC
Funding: Total Award Amount: $1,776,243
Award Type: Contract
Award Information: PCORI: More information and project results (when completed)
Abstract: Cancer patients face numerous physical and emotional challenges. Anxiety and depression can decrease quality of life and even decrease survival. High-quality cancer care depends upon recognizing and responding to patients' emotional needs. Unfortunately, oncologists frequently do not respond to patients' emotional concerns. Oncologists can learn to communicate better. The most successful teaching occurs in intensive courses with patient actors. However, these courses take time and are expensive. We created a computerized program called SCOPE in which oncologists audio record conversations with real patients and then receive feedback on how well they did. Oncologists who used this program in a research study doubled how often they responded to patients' emotional concerns and increased their patients' trust. In this grant, we propose to take this program and add an additional feature where real patients also listen to the conversations and give feedback to these doctors. We will then have doctors who are being recertified in oncology by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) use this program as part of that recertification process. We will test how well it increases their patients' satisfaction in their communication, and whether it improves their communication skills. If successful, this intervention will represent an effective communication training program for physicians in which they improve their communication skills through direct feedback from patients. Because of the integration with the ABIM Maintenance of Certification Program, if fully adopted into that program, it could have an extraordinary impact on thousands of physicians and their patients.
MeSH Terms:
  • Certification
  • Communication
  • Emotions
  • Humans
  • Internal Medicine /methods
  • Licensure
  • Medical Oncology /*methods
  • Neoplasms /*therapy
  • Patient Participation
  • * Physician-Patient Relations
  • Program Development
  • Quality of Life
  • Societies, Medical
  • Tape Recording
  • United States
Country: United States || United States
State: Massachusetts || North Carolina
Zip Code: 02215 / 27710
UI: 20152117
CTgovId: NCT02969031
Project Status: Ongoing
Record History: ('2017: Project extended to 2019.',)