Abstract / Project Summary
Over the last 20 years, rigorous research has amassed a body of evidence documenting the
importance of communication to improve patient care in oncology. Previous literature has highlighted the need
for communication models and the need to improve communication for routine clinical oncology practice from
the time of diagnosis and across the trajectory.
This R25 application supports an innovative skills development program to educate an interdisciplinary
cohort of nurses, social workers and chaplains to meet the nation's need for effective patient and family
communication in oncology. By utilizing a skills-based innovative program, this proposal will equip and expand
the workforce to meet a critical need. The Specific Aims are:
Specific Aim 1: Apply a pilot tested Interprofessional Communication Curriculum for both an online and
classroom instruction format.
Specific Aim 2: Deliver the curriculum in national workshops to competitively selected participants from
National Cancer Institute-designated clinical and comprehensive cancer centers, as well as community cancer
Specific Aim 3: Evaluate the impact of the curriculum by measuring the process and outcomes of
participants' integrating the training to advance communication in oncology.
Specific Aim 4: Disseminate findings through peer-reviewed publications, oncology organizations, and
professional networks, and develop a network of course participants to share experiences in improving
communication at participating cancer centers.
Participation in this national training program will provide oncology professionals with the knowledge
and skills to facilitate systems and organizational changes to improve communication in their practice. A total
of 460 participants from cancer centers will participate in one of five courses.