College of Health and Human Services
George Mason University
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George Mason University

George Mason University Researcher Finds Promise in Digital Interventions for Patient-Provider Communication in Cancer Care

January 17, 2020

Patient-provider communication (PPC) plays a critical role in diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of cancer. With the wide adoption of digital technologies in healthcare (eHealth, mHealth, and telehealth) and growing concerns around digital health, an urgent need exists to assess the current evidence on the effectiveness of digital interventions to facilitate PPC, especially in cancer treatment and survivorship.

In a new study published in Psycho-Oncology, Dr. Alicia Hong, Professor at George Mason University’s College of Health and Human Services and colleagues conducted the first systematic review of the studies on digital interventions to facilitate patient-provider communication in cancer care.

They first developed a theoretical framework, which guided their literature search and analysis. From extensive search on major databases, they identified 13 digital intervention studies that were designed to facilitate communication between cancer patients/survivors and their healthcare providers. They concluded that the existing literature shows promising feasibility and preliminary efficacy of digital interventions to facilitate patient-provider communication and improve patient-centered health outcomes in cancer care, but this line of research is still at its infancy. Hong stated, “Technological innovations supported by strong theoretical bases and evaluated by rigorous research methods in large and diverse study populations can inform the research and development of future interventions minimizing the digital health disparities in cancer care.”

Other authors in this study included Md Mahbub Hossain of Texas A&M University and Dr. Wen-Ying Sylvia Chou of the National Cancer Institute. 

Related people: Y. Alicia Hong, PhD
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