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

Eduardo Bruera, Catherine Sweeney, Jie Willey, J. Lynn Palmer, Susanne Tolley, Marguerite Rosales, Carla Ripamonti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-419
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2003



  • Breast cancer
  • Communication
  • Prompt sheet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Nursing(all)

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