Approaches for Discussing Clinical Trials with Pediatric Oncology Patients and Their Families


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This manuscript aims to describe evidence-based best practices to guide clinicians in communicating with pediatric patients and their families about clinical trial enrollment. RECENT FINDINGS: The standard paradigm for discussing clinical trial enrollment with pediatric oncology patients and their families inconsistently enables or facilitates true informed consent. Evidence exists to suggest that adopting a shared decision-making approach may improve patient and family understanding. When navigating communication about clinical trials, clinicians should integrate the following evidence-based communication approaches: (1) extend dialogue about clinical trial enrollment across multiple conversations, allowing families space and time to process information independently; (2) use core communication skills such as avoiding jargon, checking for understanding, and responding to emotion. Clinicians should consider factors at the individual, team, organizational, community, and policy levels that may impact clinical trial communication with pediatric cancer patients and their families. This article reviews learnable skills that clinicians can master to optimize communication about clinical trial enrollment with pediatric cancer patients and their families.

Publication Title

Current oncology reports