Improving Communication Between Doctors and Breast Cancer Patients


The research project "Improving communication between doctors and breast cancer patients" is one of eight projects funded in 1996 by the Canadian Breast Cancer Research Initiative in their special request for applications entitled "Communications Research in Breast Cancer."

The objectives of this study are to:

  1. Describe, in-depth, the very sensitive and real life experiences of breast cancer survivors to obtain a greater understanding of effective communication not currently available from the literature. This objective will be met through Phase I, a qualitative study
  2. Develop CME programs using: the in-depth understanding gained in Phase I; the concepts of patient-centred communication; and relevant literature on patient preferences; and pretest the CME program. The second objective of development and pretesting will be met through Phase II
  3. Evaluate the CME (that we developed in Phase II) in a randomized control of two versions of the CME program for surgeons, oncologists and family physicians to determine impact on:
  • the physicians' communication
  • patient perceptions of the quality of the communication
  • patient satisfaction with information
  • patients' outcome in terms of psychological distress