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J Pain Symptom Manage. 2003 May;25(5):412-9.

Breast cancer patient perception of the helpfulness of a prompt sheet versus a general information sheet during outpatient consultation: a randomized, controlled trial.

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  • 1Departments of Symptom Control and Palliative Care, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


The purpose of this study was to determine the helpfulness of a prompt sheet versus a general information sheet for patient communication with physicians. Sixty women with breast cancer attending their first outpatient consultation with a breast medical oncologist were randomized to receive either a prompt sheet (PS) or a general information (GI) sheet regarding breast cancer. Analysis of the results found that helpfulness of the written material was rated higher in the PS group (8.5 +/- 2) than the GI group (6.2 +/- 3.6), P = 0.005. The mean score of helpfulness in communicating with physicians was 7.9 +/- 2.4 and 5.7 +/- 3.8, respectively, P = 0.01. There were no significant differences between the groups in the average total number of questions asked by the patients or average physician or patient speaking time. We conclude that a disease-specific prompt sheet provided before medical encounters may assist in communication between patients and physicians.

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