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Communicating a Cancer Diagnosis-Current Methods and Their Effects

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) Identifier:
First received: May 7, 2008
Last updated: January 24, 2017
Last verified: July 16, 2009

This study will investigate how patients are informed of their cancer diagnosis or recurrence and will explore their experience in learning about the diagnosis. Specifically, it will:

  • Distinguish methods of telling the diagnosis and identify its relationship to the type of cancer.
  • Determine if the way a patient is informed of their diagnosis is associated with their level of satisfaction with the method of being informed.
  • Identify who informs the patient of their diagnosis..
  • Determine patient satisfaction with their diagnostic consult.
  • Identify indicators of satisfaction with the diagnostic consultation.

Patients 18 years of age or older who are enrolled in or being screened for enrollment in a phase I, II or III clinical trial in the National Cancer Institute's Medical Oncology, Metabolism, Surgery or Neuro-Oncology branch may be eligible for this study.

Participants complete a 15-minute questionnaire that includes questions related to the how they were informed of their cancer diagnosis.


Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Time Perspective: Other
Official Title: Communicating a Cancer Diagnosis: Current Methods and Their Effects

Further study details as provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):

Estimated Enrollment: 1100
Study Start Date: April 24, 2008
Study Completion Date: July 16, 2009
Primary Completion Date: July 16, 2009 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Detailed Description:


- The goals of the study are to identify how a patient with a diagnosis of cancer is informed of their condition and to illuminate the way in which this information exchange occurs.


To distinguish, identify and determine:

  • If the method by which a patient is informed of a diagnosis of cancer is associated with their level of satisfaction with that method of being informed
  • Who tells the patient of their condition
  • The methods used to inform a patient of their condition
  • Prognostic indicators of high satisfaction within the diagnostic consult


  • Patients currently enrolled or being screened for enrollment for a phase I, II or III clinical trial at the National Cancer Institutes clinic center- specifically, within the following branch clinics: Medical Oncology, Metabolism, Surgery and Neuro-Oncology.
  • Patient must be 18 years or older and be willing to participate in the study.


  • Primary methodological practice is a self-administered questionnaire.
  • Questionnaire to be completed by patient on same day that it is administered at NCI.

Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 100 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No


  1. Age greater than or equal to 18 years.
  2. A patient diagnosed with cancer who is either currently enrolled in a protocol and receiving treatment or has come to NCI for consult and potential enrollment in a trial.
  3. Ability to follow basic verbal instructions as observed by either an investigator of the study or as reported by a member of the patient's primary clinical team.
  4. Patient must comprehend English, verbal and written, to be determined by the investigator distributing the questionnaire.

    -Patients with a hearing and/or visual impairment will be eligible to participate in the study if they so choose. Appropriate accommodations will be made.

  5. Signed informed consent form.


  1. Patients that have cognitive impairments, such as mental challenges/retardation due to a congenital or developmental anomaly.

    a. Subjects with cognitive impairments are ineligible to participate in the study due to comprehension inabilities.

  2. Patients who have developed dementia as a result of their disease or from an unspecified source are not eligible for participation due to both memory and overall cognitive deficits.
  3. Patients that have multiple concurrent cancers are excluded from participation in this study.
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00674804

United States, Maryland
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
  More Information

Publications: Identifier: NCT00674804     History of Changes
Obsolete Identifiers: NCT00732667
Other Study ID Numbers: 080127
Study First Received: May 7, 2008
Last Updated: January 24, 2017

Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):
Communicating a Diagnosis
Cancer Diagnosis
Recurrence of Cancer
Initial Cancer Diagnosis processed this record on March 24, 2017