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Grant Details

Grant Number: 1R03CA273617-01 Interpret this number
Primary Investigator: Bylund, Carma
Organization: University Of Florida
Project Title: S.E.N.D.: Developing a Web-Based, Interactive Guide to Enhance Patient-Clinician Electronic Communication By Focusing on Specificity, Expressing Concerns, Need, and Directness
Fiscal Year: 2022


Project Summary The use of secure messaging (SM) is increasingly being relied upon for cancer communication. SM can improve care and provide an outlet for patient-clinician communication. However, patients are uncertain about how to use SM effectively to communicate with clinicians, and clinicians have cited difficulties understanding the goals of patients’ messages. The long-term goal is to perform a wide-scale implementation to integrate the evidence- based, online, interactive tool with the electronic health record (EHR) system to facilitate quality health care communication between patients and clinicians. The objective of this proposal is to test the feasibility and acceptability of the application to enhance patients’ message writing skills by conducting interviews with cancer patients, followed by surveying patients after they have used the application, and finally, rating messages pre/post-application for clarity, directness, organization, and structure. The rationale of this proposal is that just like in face-to-face communication training, developing materials that focus on specific communication challenges can enhance how patients communicate with clinicians, leading to higher efficiency, satisfaction, knowledge, and self-efficacious behavior. Ensured by the strong track record of the team comprising Alpert (PI), an expert in cancer patients’ health communication using technology, Bylund’s (Co-I) extensive experience developing communication skills training programs, Markham’s (Co-I) specialty in cancer care, Wang’s (Co-I) methods and analysis expertise, Murphy’s (Co-I) experience interacting with patients using SM, and supported by the UF Health Cancer Center, our three aims are realistic to be completed within the specified timeframe and hold the potential to greatly enhance the quality of communication. Our study is innovative because we will provide a theoretically grounded, interactive intervention to help patients learn specific communication skills related to SM, and evaluate its effectiveness by including clinicians as message raters. Our study would also provide valuable insights into how clinicians perceive quality SM communication, enabling future interventions focusing on clinicians’ techniques to responding to messages. The proposed research is significant because although SM is widely used, no guidance about how to use it effectively is currently provided. The anticipated positive impact of this project is that it will provide evidence to confirm that education for SM is necessary and effective. A multi-level intervention will be planned to integrate the application into the EHR to be suited for a wide variety of disease areas.



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