Background: Patient-centered communication (PCC) is critical to patient-centered care. PCC leads to patient satisfaction, improved quality of life, and other positive health outcomes. However, communication in the cancer care setting has been shown to be suboptimal.
The project team developed the PCC-Ca, a valid, conceptually based, and reliable survey measure that can be used to assess and improve the quality of communication in cancer care. The PCC-Ca also can be used for communication monitoring, surveillance, and PCC research. To increase the impact of the PCC-Ca, it will be important to reach a wide array of health systems, clinicians, researchers, and other end users.
Proposed Solution to the Problem: The PCC-Ca is publicly available on RTI’s website and also has been shared at conferences, in publications, and via email communication to cancer centers, cancer-related organizations, and researchers. However, a more robust approach to disseminating the PCC-Ca is needed to reach a wider range of potential users and make them aware of its uses and benefits.
The project team will disseminate the PCC-Ca to organizations and individuals for quality improvement initiatives, to monitor patients’ communication experiences, and to conduct research to deepen understanding of the role and impact of PCC in quality health care. The team also will develop and disseminate a Spanish-language version of the PCC-Ca.
Objectives: The overarching objectives of this project are (a) to expand and improve assessment of PCC in diverse cancer care settings as part of quality improvement efforts, and (b) to facilitate research in critical areas of PCC in cancer care.
Activities: The project team will develop a Spanish-language version of the PCC-Ca through translation and interviews with Spanish-speaking patients. The team will convene a workshop with health professionals, researchers, experts in health communication training, and others that addresses improving and expanding PCC measurement as part of quality improvement and research. The team also will develop a PCC research agenda to promote and guide wider use of the PCC-Ca in diverse healthcare settings.
Outcomes and Outputs: The project team will update the PCC-Ca User Guide to include the Spanish version. The team also will develop brief communiqués and videos about the PCC-Ca. These products and the materials developed for the PCC workshop will be publicly available on an updated PCC-Ca web page. Additional enhancements to the web page will include patient stories and stories from clinical settings that focus on PCC along with links to publications and presentations on the PCC-Ca. Additionally, the team will disseminate the PCC-Ca and related research findings through organizations and websites that collect research tools and make them available for researchers.
Patient and Stakeholder Engagement Plan: The project team will continue its collaboration with Fight Colorectal Cancer, a cancer patient advocacy organization the team partnered with on the development of the PCC-Ca. Fight Colorectal Cancer will assist with the recruitment of Spanish-speaking patient advocates for the development of the Spanish version of the PCC-Ca and participate in the development of the dissemination strategy and related products, the PCC workshop, and the development of the PCC research agenda.
Project Collaborators: The team will engage with multidisciplinary stakeholders, including communication researchers and practitioners, such as communication training experts, oncology care clinicians, and patient advocates.
The enhancement project seeks to further understand the role of patient-centered communication (PCC) in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The team will build on work carried out by the project’s partner organizations to provide COVID-19-related information and support to cancer patients.
The project team will conduct an online survey of cancer patients and focus groups to understand the impact of the pandemic on patient-provider communication and the role of PCC in helping patients manage the uncertainties, fear, and stress associated with COVID-19. The team will disseminate briefs and other dissemination products to share findings that can be used to address patient needs for information and support, and to improve PCC.