Using a patient prompt list to raise concerns in oncology clinics does not necessarily lead to longer consultations

Simon N. Rogers, Cherith Semple, Gerald M. Humphris, Derek Lowe, Anastasios Kanatas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Head and Neck oncology post-treatment consultations form a critical component of care in terms of support and surveillance. They occur frequently in the first few years and can place substantial demands on health care resources. However, they provide useful opportunities for patients to raise issues and receive tailored information and support. The aim of this paper is to assess whether the use of a 56 item patient prompt list (PCI), completed immediately prior to the consultation significantly increases its duration. This was a pragmatic cluster preference randomised control trial of 288 patients with 15 consultant clusters from two sites either ‘using' (n = 8) or ‘not using’ (n = 7) the PCI. Consultation times were known for 283 patients (136 PCI, 147 non-PCI) who attended their first post-treatment trial consultation, a median (IQR) 103 (70-160) days after the end of treatment. Consultations lasted a median (IQR) of 10 (7-13) minutes, mean 11.1 in non-PCI patients and a median (IQR) of 11 (8-15) minutes, mean 12.0 in PCI patients (p = 0.07). After adjustment for patient clustering and significant case-mix the 95% confidence interval for the mean difference was from 1.45 minutes shorter with PCI to 2.98 minutes longer, p = 0.50. There was significant variation in duration by consultant, tumour stage, treatment mode, overall QOL, distress (all p < 0.001). In those completing the PCI, duration increased with the total number of PCI items selected (p < 0.001). In conclusion, the inclusion of a prompt list to help facilitate the conversation with patients did not make a substantial difference to consultation times.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
VolumeIn press
Early online date19 Aug 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Aug 2020


  • Head and neck cancer
  • Intervention
  • Prompt list
  • Health related quality of life
  • Randomised trial
  • Patient Concerns Inventory
  • Consultations
  • Duration


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