Examining information needs of heart failure patients and family companions using a previsit question prompt list and audiotaped data
Findings from a pilot study
Jenkins, H. R., Rupert, D. J., Etta, V., Peinado, S., Wolff, J. L., Lewis, M. A., Chang, P., & Cené, C. W. (2022). Examining information needs of heart failure patients and family companions using a previsit question prompt list and audiotaped data: Findings from a pilot study. Journal of Cardiac Failure, 28(6), 896-905. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cardfail.2021.11.012
BACKGROUND: Question prompt lists (QPLs) are an effective tool for improving communication during medical visits. However, no studies have attempted to correlate intentions related to question asking and actual questions asked during visits. Moreover, few studies have used QPLs with patients with heart failure (HF) or family companions who accompany them to visits. We examined the use of a previsit QPL for patients with HF and their family companions intended to enhance engagement in HF care. The aim of this research was to assess which questions from the QPL patients and companions selected most frequently to ask and compare this item with which questions were actually asked during the medical visit.
METHODS AND RESULTS: This secondary analysis of QOLs and audiotaped visit data from a pilot study enrolled and consented patients with HF, family companions, and HF clinicians. A single group of 30 patients with HF and 23 family companions received the QPL to complete in the waiting room immediately before their cardiology visit. To meet our aims, we calculated the frequencies for each question selected and asked from the QPL, using data derived from completed prompt lists and audiotaped medical visits. A follow-up survey was administered 2 days after the appointment to assess differences in how participants filled out and used the prompt list. Patients and companions primarily selected and asked questions from the QPL regarding the management and treatment of the disease, general questions about HF, and questions about prognosis. Participants rarely asked questions about support for family and friends or health care team roles and responsibilities. Patients and companions did not ask many of the questions they reported wanting to ask.
CONCLUSIONS: Prompt lists may empower patients and companions to communicate with their clinician by identifying important questions to help overcome patients' and companions' knowledge gaps. More research is needed to understand the true impact of prompt lists on patient-family-clinician communication and subsequent HF outcomes, and how best to implement them in clinical workflows to increase their potential usefulness.