The Health Communicator: systematic development of a digital tool for older migrant patients with cancer

Elderly people with cancer are at increased risk of miscommunication with their caregivers. This risk is even more strongly present in the case of non-Western elderly patients with cancer, due to a combination of linguistic and socio-cultural factors. Both culture-related beliefs about illness, health and communication, as well as a relatively low ‘health literacy’, and a lack of Dutch language skills and the inherent use of family members as interpreters, are barriers to a good communication process with these patients. To decrease these barriers, the Health Communicator has been developed: a multilingual anamnestic- and video-based educational digital tool. The goal of this project is the systematic development and implementation of an oncology module that will be integrated into the Health Communicator for elderly Turkish and Moroccan cancer patients (> 65 years) and their caregivers (general practitioners, oncology nurses). The module will consist of a culture-sensitive response-driven questionnaire including Question Prompt List (QPL) and tailored video-based patient education. The module will be developed and evaluated according to the guidelines of the Spiral Technology Action Research (STAR) model. The ultimate aim of this project is to achieve a higher satisfaction with and understanding of information among these patient populations, by enhancing the doctor-patient communication process and tailoring information-provision to patients during and after the consultation. This project is a collaboration between Radboud UMC/Pharos and the University of Amsterdam.

Research team: Prof. Julia van Weert, Dr. Barbara Schouten, Dr. Sanne Schinkel (post-doc)
Dr. Maria van den Muijsenbergh (Pharos/Radboud UMC)
Status: Will start in May 2016
Funding: Dutch Cancer Society