Last year in the UK over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials aimed at improving cancer treatments and making them available to all.
A study looking at the impact of training doctors in how to respond to a patient questionnaire about quality of life (QuEST-T2)
This study assessed the impact of a programme to train doctors in interpreting a patient quality of life questionnaire.
When this study was done, The Leeds Cancer Centre at St James’s University Hospital introduced a new way to find out what problems and concerns patients have about their cancer and treatment. Before seeing the doctor, patients filled in a brief quality of life questionnaire using a touch screen computer. The doctors saw the results of the questionnaire before seeing the patient.
The aim of this study was to assess the impact of a training programme. The programme was designed to help doctors interpret and use the information provided in the new quality of life questionnaires that patients were filling in.
Summary of results
The researchers found that a training session helped doctors to use the information provided in the new questionnaires.
The study involved 3 doctors and 60 patients who had breast cancer, bowel cancer or gynaecological cancers.
Before having an appointment with the doctor to talk about chemotherapy, the patients filled in a questionnaire using a touch screen computer. It included questions about symptoms and how they were feeling, as well as asking about their social and family life. The doctor was given information from the questionnaire to look at during the appointment.
After seeing 10 patients who had filled in these questionnaires, the doctors had a training session that lasted 3 to 4 hours. They then had appointments with 10 more patients who had filled in the questionnaires.
Audio recordings were made of the appointments so that the study team could see how the doctors were using information from the questionnaires both before and after the training session.
From listening to the recordings, the researchers suggest that after the training session, there was more discussion about issues such as pain.
The researchers concluded that a short training programme can help doctors to interpret and act on the information gathered in questionnaires filled in by patients.
We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the study. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.
Professor Galina Velikova
Cancer Research UK
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
University of Leeds