In cancer care, good communication is essential for building patient–physician relationship. Especially, when deciding on the treatment, good communication between a patient and a physician is very important to achieve a better understanding of the medical condition and for the patient to take a more autonomous role in medical care. However, it is not easy for patients to ask questions during the consultation. Our previous studies in Japan found that some patients preferred that physicians give them a chance to ask questions, while others did not know what questions to ask and wanted to know the questions most frequently asked by other patients.
Patient-centered approaches have been proposed for improving communication between patients and physicians, including the use of a question prompt sheet (QPS). A QPS is a structured list of questions covering the items a patient may want to ask their physicians regarding their illness and treatment. Patients are given the QPS before consultation for them to read and determine which questions they would like to ask. In cancer setting, randomized, controlled trials have been carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of QPS in encouraging cancer patients regardless of the cancer stage to obtain more information about their illness and its treatment.
This presentation will discuss the usefulness of QPS showing the results of national and international researches.