Communication during racially-discordant interactions is often of poor quality and may contribute to racial treatment disparities. We evaluated an intervention designed to increase patient active participation and other communication-related outcomes during interactions between Black patients and non-Black oncologists.
Participants were 18 non-Black medical oncologists and 114 Black patients at two cancer hospitals in Detroit, Michigan, USA. Before a clinic visit to discuss treatment, patients were randomly assigned to usual care or to one of two question prompt list (QPL) formats: booklet (QPL-Only), or booklet and communication coach (QPL-plus-Coach). Patient-oncologist interactions were video recorded. Patients reported perceptions of the intervention, oncologist communication, role in treatment decisions, and trust in the oncologist. Observers assessed interaction length, patient active participation, and oncologist communication.
The intervention was viewed positively and did not increase interaction length. The QPL-only format increased patient active participation; the QPL-plus-Coach format decreased patient perceptions of oncologist communication. No other significant effects were found.
This QPL booklet is acceptable and increases patient active participation in racially-discordant oncology interactions. Future research should investigate whether adding physician-focused interventions might improve other outcomes.