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04.06.2019 | Clinical trial | Ausgabe 1/2019

Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 1/2019

Sharing in care: engaging care partners in the care and communication of breast cancer patients

Breast Cancer Research and Treatment > Ausgabe 1/2019
Jennifer L. Wolff, Jennifer Aufill, Diane Echavarria, JaAlah-Ai Heughan, Kimberley T. Lee, Roisin M. Connolly, John H. Fetting, Danijela Jelovac, Katie Papathakis, Carol Riley, Vered Stearns, Elissa Thorner, Nelli Zafman, Howard P. Levy, Sydney M. Dy, Antonio C. Wolff
Wichtige Hinweise
Portions of this work have been presented at the meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology (June 2019).

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Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.



Family is often overlooked in cancer care. We developed a patient–family agenda setting intervention to engage family in cancer care communication.


We conducted a pilot randomized controlled trial (NCT03283553) of patients on active treatment for breast cancer and their family “care partner.” Intervention dyads (n = 69) completed a self-administered checklist to clarify care partner roles, establish a shared visit agenda, and facilitate MyChart patient portal access. Control dyads (n = 63) received usual care. We assessed intervention acceptability and initial effects from post-visit surveys and MyChart utilization at 6 weeks.


At baseline, most patients (89.4%) but few care partners (1.5%) were registered for MyChart. Most patients (79.4%) wanted their care partner to have access to their records and 39.4% of care partners reported accessing MyChart. In completing the checklist, patients and care partners endorsed active communication roles for the care partner and identified a similar visit agenda: most (> 90%) reported the checklist was easy, useful, and recommended it to others. At 6 weeks, intervention (vs control) care partners were more likely to be registered for MyChart (75.4% vs 1.6%; p < 0.001), to have logged in (43.5% vs 0%; p < 0.001) and viewed clinical notes (30.4% vs 0%; p < 0.001), but were no more likely to exchange direct messages with clinicians (1.5% vs 0%; p = 0.175). No differences in patients’ MyChart use were observed, but intervention patients more often viewed clinical notes (50.7% vs 9.5%; p < 0.001).


A patient–family agenda setting intervention was acceptable and affected online practices of cancer patients and care partners.

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