Testing the utility of a cancer clinical trial specific Question Prompt List (QPL-CT) during oncology consultations.

Research paper by Richard F RF Brown, Carma L CL Bylund, Yuelin Y Li, Shawna S Edgerson, Phyllis P Butow

Indexed on: 07 Mar '12Published on: 07 Mar '12Published in: Patient Education and Counseling


A Question Prompt List (QPL) is a proven, simple intervention to aid patients to be active participants in consultations with their physicians by asking questions. We aimed to further develop and test the efficacy of a targeted QPL for clinical trials (QPL-CT).Breast, Lung and Genitourinary cancer patients who were facing a discussion about a therapeutic clinical trial completed short pre- and post-consultation questionnaires and used the QPL-CT in their discussions with their oncologists.30 participants were recruited from 6 oncologists. All QPL-CT questions were selected by at least one-third of participants. Participants mostly wanted and asked questions about personal trial benefit. Oncologists provided information about personal benefit to varying degrees, thus patients did not ask some questions. Patients were still left with some unasked and unanswered questions.The QPL-CT has potential as a simple, inexpensive intervention to aid such communication. Further investigation is needed to demonstrate the efficacy of the QPL-CT in improving cancer patient outcomes.These preliminary finding suggest that important areas of clinical trials are overlooked in clinical consultations. The QPL-CT may be an effective method to encourage oncologists to endorse patient question asking about clinical trials and prompt patient questions.