An educational program for patients with blood cancer and caregivers appeared to improve their communications with doctors about care and cancer clinical trials (CCTs) in a study evaluating the program. Study results were published in the Journal of Cancer Education.
The educational intervention involved videos consisting of 3 modules, which were focused on communication with one’s doctor, understanding clinical trials, and speaking with one’s doctor about clinical trials.
The PACES framework was emphasized in some components of the training videos, which includes the following steps: present information, ask questions, check understanding, express concerns, and state preferences. A link to a reference guide on clinical trial conversations was also provided.
Study participants included patients with a blood cancer, and caregivers, family members, and friends of patients, with recruitment based on The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society constituency database.
Participants completed a pre-survey prior to watching the videos and a post-survey after watching them. Surveys involved a range of topics, such as patient clinical characteristics, perspectives on communication with doctors about CCTs, and others. The Patient Report of Communication Behavior (PRCB) was used for monitoring changes in behavior based on the intervention.
There were 192 participants in the study who completed the intervention and both surveys, including 160 patients and 32 caregivers, family members, or friends. Following the intervention, participants showed an increase in CCT knowledge mean score, compared with pre-survey knowledge (P <.001). On average, 91% knowledge-based questions had correct responses on the post-survey, compared with 81% on the pre-survey.
A metric of readiness to change regarding communication about CCTs involved confidence, perceived importance, and likelihood to communicate; the mean score for this metric was significantly higher on the post-survey than on the pre-survey (P <.0001). Confidence in communicating with doctors also appeared significantly higher on the post-survey than on the pre-survey (P <.0001).
The post-survey mean score on the PRCB also was higher than on the pre-survey (P <.001). The increase in the mean PRCB score was greater among participants who had never had a conversation with a doctor about CCTs before, particularly among those who were at least 65 years of age. Participants identifying as female also showed higher mean scores than those identifying as other genders did in some analyses.
The researchers considered the intervention to be efficacious across multiple evaluated metrics. “This type of training can further equip patients and caregivers with the skills to advocate for themselves effectively, to increase the chance of discussion of clinical trials among all eligible and interested patients,” the researchers wrote in their report.
Disclosures: This research was supported by Gilead and Kite Oncology.
Vasquez TS, Eggly S, Sae-Hau M, et al. Preparing patients to communicate with their doctors about clinical trials as a treatment option: impact of a novel video intervention for patients with a blood cancer and their caregivers. J Cancer Educ. Published online April 25, 2023. doi:10.1007/s13187-023-02300-0