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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Assessing patients' experiences with communication across the cancer care continuum

Kathleen M Mazor, Richard L Street, Valerie M Sue, Andrew E Williams, Borsika A Rabin, Neeraj K Arora
Patient Education and Counseling 2016, 99 (8): 1343-8
26979476

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the relevance, performance and potential usefulness of the Patient Assessment of cancer Communication Experiences (PACE) items.

METHODS: Items focusing on specific communication goals related to exchanging information, fostering healing relationships, responding to emotions, making decisions, enabling self-management, and managing uncertainty were tested via a retrospective, cross-sectional survey of adults who had been diagnosed with cancer. Analyses examined response frequencies, inter-item correlations, and coefficient alpha.

RESULTS: A total of 366 adults were included in the analyses. Relatively few selected Does Not Apply, suggesting that items tap relevant communication experiences. Ratings of whether specific communication goals were achieved were strongly correlated with overall ratings of communication, suggesting item content reflects important aspects of communication. Coefficient alpha was ≥.90 for each item set, indicating excellent reliability. Variations in the percentage of respondents selecting the most positive response across items suggest results can identify strengths and weaknesses.

CONCLUSION: The PACE items tap relevant, important aspects of communication during cancer care, and may be useful to cancer care teams desiring detailed feedback.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: The PACE is a new tool for eliciting patients' perspectives on communication during cancer care. It is freely available online for practitioners, researchers and others.

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