Clinical trials are necessary to develop improved cancer prevention and treatment strategies. Unfortunately, less than ten percent of cancer patients take part in cancer research studies. There are many reasons for this low participation rate, including logistical factors, as well as the knowledge and attitudes of patients, and the influence of family members, communities, institutions, and health care providers. Oncology nurses share a therapeutic relationship with their patients, and are estimated to have twice as much contact with patients as their physician counterparts. Given the close involvement of oncology nurses in supporting patient decision making about care and treatment, we propose to develop, implement, and evaluate a theory- driven, interactive, web-based, tailored educational program to improve oncology nurse engagement in patient decision making about clinical trials. The overall goal is to increase oncology nurse general discussions with patients about clinical trials in routine clinical settings. Guided by the Theory of Planned Behavior, this web-based educational program will systematically assess and address nurses' barriers to discussing clinical trials related to knowledge, attitudes, perceived normative beliefs, and perceived behavioral control. The three specific aims are:
Aim 1) to develop and pilot test Oncology Nurse IMPACT, an interactive educational program that delivers online videos to address individual nurses' barriers to discussing clinical trials as a treatment option with patients;
Aim 2) to implement Oncology Nurse IMPACT on a national level and conduct a formal program evaluation. We will recruit a representative nationwide sample of 1,030 Oncology Nursing Society members by email to participate in the educational program. The program evaluation will assess nurse education, and program content and acceptability (guided by principles of the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation). This evaluation will include a randomized comparison of IMPACT vs. a control condition of educational text;
and Aim 3) to evaluate the mediators and moderators of education program effect on intentions to discuss clinical trials with patients. We hypothesize that by overcoming nurses' barriers to discussing general information about clinical trials with patients, cancer patient participation in clinical tials will ultimately increase.

Public Health Relevance

Clinical trials are necessary to develop new ways to prevent and treat cancer; however, very few cancer patients take part in these research studies. Oncology nurses play an important role in patient education and help patients to make informed treatment decisions. This program uses a web-based application (Oncology Nurse IMPACT) to deliver video information about clinical trials to oncology nurses, to help them become more comfortable discussing clinical trials as an option with their patients.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Education Projects (R25)
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Subcommittee I - Transistion to Independence (NCI)
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Korczak, Jeannette F
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Case Western Reserve University
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Flocke, Susan A; Antognoli, Elizabeth; Daly, Barbara J et al. (2017) The Role of Oncology Nurses in Discussing Clinical Trials. Oncol Nurs Forum 44:547-552