The value of using real-time patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures in cancer communication has gained attention both in the clinic and in research. Despite this, no internationally accepted guidelines or training programs for clinicians on how to engage in patient-centred communication based on PROs exist. Lack of training may complicate implementation and systematic use of PROs in the clinic. We aimed to develop a short and feasible manual and training session in PRO-based dialogue rooted in patient-centred communication, coined PROmunication.
PROmunication was implemented in two studies using PROs in different clinical cancer settings. We interviewed clinicians twice during the development phase. First, adopting a clinical perspective, they provided ideas for content, length and structure of the training session and the manual. Second, they approved the draft of the manual with minor adjustments on how to document clinician-patient communication. The final version of the PROmunication tool was built on clinicians’ input, theory on patient-centred communication, a literature review, and didactic considerations.
The one-page manual gave clinicians a brief and clear overview of how to prepare for, undergo and document a PRO-based consultation. Illustrations and verbal phrases were offered to operationalize and facilitate patient-centred communication. The training session included elements like evidence-based knowledge about the rationale, benefits and challenges of using PROs and comprised theory, experimental training and instructions for the use of the manual in clinical practice. Ad hoc training and feedback in the clinic followed the training session.
This paper presents the development of a short, theory-driven manual and training session intended to support and engage clinicians in PRO-based dialogue leading to patient-centred communication. Further testing of the tool is necessary and adjustments may be required if the PROmunication tool should be applied in other clinical settings were patients are seen regularly. An evaluation of the tool is planned to be performed in future studies. Training in PROmunication may further systematic and consistent use of PRO data in the consultation, leading to patient-centred consultations and increased patient involvement.