Tailoring information to older cancer patients: Effects of using web-based provider- and patient-directed tools (OCA-2)

The PhD project focuses on communication about and with older (≥70 years) cancer patients. This project focuses on how web-based tools can facilitate (1) communication among healthcare providers to discuss optimal treatment plans for their patients and (2) how to increase the likelihood that health messages will be understood and processed by older cancer patients and how the communication between healthcare providers and cancer patients can be improved.
To explore the added value of two web-based tools on interprofessional communication, and on patient satisfaction and recall of cancer-related information, two tailored web-based tools will be evaluated:
a provider-directed tool (the Geriatric Navigator), that mainly aims to support adequate information gathering (one of the main functions of medical communication) which is necessary to develop an optimal treatment plan.
a patient-centered tool (the Patient Navigator, www.wijzerbijkanker.nl), that supports information provision (another main function of medical communication) and allows patients to prepare for the consultation and to listen back the content of the consultation. We expect that patients who are exposed to the Patient Navigator participate more actively and ask more questions during the consultation, which might result in increased recall of information and reduced distress.
The systematic development of the Patient Navigator (funded separately by the Dutch Cancer Society in a project entitled ‘The Patient Navigator: the systematic development of an online tool for older cancer patients’) is part of this project.

This project is a collaboration between the Amsterdam School of Communication Research/ASCoR (budget holder) and the department of Medical Psychology (AMC) of the University of Amsterdam.
Participating hospitals are Deventer Ziekenhuis, Diakonessenhuis, HagaZiekenhuis and Zuyderland Medisch Centrum.

Research team: Sifra Bolle & Melanie de Looper (PhD students)
Prof. Julia van Weert and Prof. Ellen Smets (promotores)
Prof. Eugène Loos (copromotor)
Other members: Geke Romijn, Romy Koopsen (development Patient Navigator)
Status: Ongoing since May 2013
Funding:  Amsterdam School of Communication Research/ASCoR & Dutch Cancer Society