Impact of prognostic discussions on the patient-Physician relationship: Prospective cohort study

Joshua J Fenton, Paul R. Duberstein, Richard L Kravitz, Guibo Xing, Daniel J Tancredi, Kevin Fiscella, Supriya Mohile, Ronald M. Epstein

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Abstract

Purpose Some research has suggested that discussion of prognosis can disrupt the patient-physician relationship. This study assessed whether physician discussion of prognosis is associated with detrimental changes in measures of the strength of the patient-physician relationship. Methods This was a longitudinal cohort study of 265 adult patients with advanced cancer who visited 38 oncologists within community- and hospital-based cancer clinics in Western New York and Northern California. Prognostic discussion was assessed by coding transcribed audio-recorded visits using the Prognostic and Treatment Choices (PTCC) scale and by patient survey at 3 months after the clinic visit. Changes in the strength of the patient-physician relationship were computed as differences in patient responses to The Human Connection and the Perceived Efficacy in Patient-Physician Interactions scales from baseline to 2 to 7 days and 3 months after the clinic visit. Results Prognostic discussion was not associated with a temporal decline in either measure. Indeed, a one-unit increase in PTCC during the audio-recorded visit was associated with improvement in The Human Connection scale at 2 to 7 days after the visit (parameter estimate, 0.10; 95% CI, 20.02 to 0.23) and 3 months after the visit (parameter estimate, 0.18; 95% CI, 0.02 to 0.35) relative to baseline. Standardized effect sizes (SES) associated with an increase of two standard deviations in the PTCC at each time point were consistent with small beneficial effects (SES, 0.14 [95% CI, 20.02 to 0.29] at 2 to 7 days; SES, 0.24 [95% CI, 0.02 to 0.45] at 3 months), and lower bounds of CIs indicated that substantial detrimental effects of prognostic discussion were unlikely. Conclusion Prognostic discussion is not intrinsically harmful to the patient-physician relationship and may even strengthen the therapeutic alliance between patients and oncologists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-230
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 20 2018

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Physician-Patient Relations
Cohort Studies
Prospective Studies
Ambulatory Care
Physicians
Community Hospital
Therapeutics
Longitudinal Studies
Neoplasms
Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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Impact of prognostic discussions on the patient-Physician relationship : Prospective cohort study. / Fenton, Joshua J; Duberstein, Paul R.; Kravitz, Richard L; Xing, Guibo; Tancredi, Daniel J; Fiscella, Kevin; Mohile, Supriya; Epstein, Ronald M.

In: Journal of Clinical Oncology, Vol. 36, No. 3, 20.01.2018, p. 225-230.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fenton, Joshua J ; Duberstein, Paul R. ; Kravitz, Richard L ; Xing, Guibo ; Tancredi, Daniel J ; Fiscella, Kevin ; Mohile, Supriya ; Epstein, Ronald M. / Impact of prognostic discussions on the patient-Physician relationship : Prospective cohort study. In: Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2018 ; Vol. 36, No. 3. pp. 225-230.
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abstract = "Purpose Some research has suggested that discussion of prognosis can disrupt the patient-physician relationship. This study assessed whether physician discussion of prognosis is associated with detrimental changes in measures of the strength of the patient-physician relationship. Methods This was a longitudinal cohort study of 265 adult patients with advanced cancer who visited 38 oncologists within community- and hospital-based cancer clinics in Western New York and Northern California. Prognostic discussion was assessed by coding transcribed audio-recorded visits using the Prognostic and Treatment Choices (PTCC) scale and by patient survey at 3 months after the clinic visit. Changes in the strength of the patient-physician relationship were computed as differences in patient responses to The Human Connection and the Perceived Efficacy in Patient-Physician Interactions scales from baseline to 2 to 7 days and 3 months after the clinic visit. Results Prognostic discussion was not associated with a temporal decline in either measure. Indeed, a one-unit increase in PTCC during the audio-recorded visit was associated with improvement in The Human Connection scale at 2 to 7 days after the visit (parameter estimate, 0.10; 95{\%} CI, 20.02 to 0.23) and 3 months after the visit (parameter estimate, 0.18; 95{\%} CI, 0.02 to 0.35) relative to baseline. Standardized effect sizes (SES) associated with an increase of two standard deviations in the PTCC at each time point were consistent with small beneficial effects (SES, 0.14 [95{\%} CI, 20.02 to 0.29] at 2 to 7 days; SES, 0.24 [95{\%} CI, 0.02 to 0.45] at 3 months), and lower bounds of CIs indicated that substantial detrimental effects of prognostic discussion were unlikely. Conclusion Prognostic discussion is not intrinsically harmful to the patient-physician relationship and may even strengthen the therapeutic alliance between patients and oncologists.",
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AU - Fenton, Joshua J

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AU - Fiscella, Kevin

AU - Mohile, Supriya

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N2 - Purpose Some research has suggested that discussion of prognosis can disrupt the patient-physician relationship. This study assessed whether physician discussion of prognosis is associated with detrimental changes in measures of the strength of the patient-physician relationship. Methods This was a longitudinal cohort study of 265 adult patients with advanced cancer who visited 38 oncologists within community- and hospital-based cancer clinics in Western New York and Northern California. Prognostic discussion was assessed by coding transcribed audio-recorded visits using the Prognostic and Treatment Choices (PTCC) scale and by patient survey at 3 months after the clinic visit. Changes in the strength of the patient-physician relationship were computed as differences in patient responses to The Human Connection and the Perceived Efficacy in Patient-Physician Interactions scales from baseline to 2 to 7 days and 3 months after the clinic visit. Results Prognostic discussion was not associated with a temporal decline in either measure. Indeed, a one-unit increase in PTCC during the audio-recorded visit was associated with improvement in The Human Connection scale at 2 to 7 days after the visit (parameter estimate, 0.10; 95% CI, 20.02 to 0.23) and 3 months after the visit (parameter estimate, 0.18; 95% CI, 0.02 to 0.35) relative to baseline. Standardized effect sizes (SES) associated with an increase of two standard deviations in the PTCC at each time point were consistent with small beneficial effects (SES, 0.14 [95% CI, 20.02 to 0.29] at 2 to 7 days; SES, 0.24 [95% CI, 0.02 to 0.45] at 3 months), and lower bounds of CIs indicated that substantial detrimental effects of prognostic discussion were unlikely. Conclusion Prognostic discussion is not intrinsically harmful to the patient-physician relationship and may even strengthen the therapeutic alliance between patients and oncologists.

AB - Purpose Some research has suggested that discussion of prognosis can disrupt the patient-physician relationship. This study assessed whether physician discussion of prognosis is associated with detrimental changes in measures of the strength of the patient-physician relationship. Methods This was a longitudinal cohort study of 265 adult patients with advanced cancer who visited 38 oncologists within community- and hospital-based cancer clinics in Western New York and Northern California. Prognostic discussion was assessed by coding transcribed audio-recorded visits using the Prognostic and Treatment Choices (PTCC) scale and by patient survey at 3 months after the clinic visit. Changes in the strength of the patient-physician relationship were computed as differences in patient responses to The Human Connection and the Perceived Efficacy in Patient-Physician Interactions scales from baseline to 2 to 7 days and 3 months after the clinic visit. Results Prognostic discussion was not associated with a temporal decline in either measure. Indeed, a one-unit increase in PTCC during the audio-recorded visit was associated with improvement in The Human Connection scale at 2 to 7 days after the visit (parameter estimate, 0.10; 95% CI, 20.02 to 0.23) and 3 months after the visit (parameter estimate, 0.18; 95% CI, 0.02 to 0.35) relative to baseline. Standardized effect sizes (SES) associated with an increase of two standard deviations in the PTCC at each time point were consistent with small beneficial effects (SES, 0.14 [95% CI, 20.02 to 0.29] at 2 to 7 days; SES, 0.24 [95% CI, 0.02 to 0.45] at 3 months), and lower bounds of CIs indicated that substantial detrimental effects of prognostic discussion were unlikely. Conclusion Prognostic discussion is not intrinsically harmful to the patient-physician relationship and may even strengthen the therapeutic alliance between patients and oncologists.

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