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Topic Title

  • Advancing Research Methodology for Measuring and Monitoring Patient-Centered Communications in Cancer Care

Abstract - Final

Advancing Research Methodology for Measuring and Monitoring Patient-Centered Communications in Cancer Care

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Topic Abstract

This project, sponsored by AHRQ and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) through the AHRQ DEcIDE program, will lay the groundwork for creating a measurement and monitoring system that will facilitate ongoing assessment, tracking, and improvement of the various functions of patient-centered communication (PCC) in cancer care. The specific objectives are threefold: (1) to develop a comprehensive inventory of the domains and subdomains that characterize key functions of PCC; (2) to develop an inventory of existing measures suitable for measuring these domains and subdomains and identify methods suitable for collecting reliable and valid longitudinal data on them; and (3) to conduct a scientific symposium on research methods for measuring and monitoring PCC in cancer care. As a foundation for the project, the RTI/Baylor team will use a conceptual framework developed for NCI that defines six functions of PCC in cancer care, which affect cancer outcomes and interact with each other (Epstein, RM, Street RL, 2007). These functions include: fostering healing relationships; exchanging information; responding to patients’ emotions; managing uncertainty; making decisions; and enabling patient self-management. The work will be conducted in close consultation with a Technical Expert Panel representing relevant areas of expertise. Ultimately, measures of PCC will enable the development of evidence-based standards for communication-related quality of care and the measurement of patient experiences with care according to those standards.

Reference: Epstein RM, Street RL, Jr. Patient-Centered Communication in Cancer Care: Promoting Healing and Reducing Suffering. National Cancer Institute, NIH Publication No. 07-6225. Bethesda, MD, 2007.