Perceived patient-centered communication, quality of life, and symptom burden in individuals with ovarian cancer

Rachel A. Pozzar, Niya Xiong, Fangxin Hong, Alexi A. Wright, Barbara A. Goff, Meghan L. Underhill-Blazey, James A. Tulsky, Marilyn J. Hammer, Donna L. Berry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To describe perceptions of patient-centered communication (PCC); assess whether physician specialty, patient characteristics, or health system characteristics are associated with PCC; and identify associations between PCC, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and symptom burden among individuals with ovarian cancer. Methods: Cross-sectional, descriptive survey of English-speaking adults with ovarian cancer. PCC, HRQoL, and ovarian cancer symptom burden were assessed with the PCC-Ca-36, the FACT-G, and the FOSI-18, respectively. PCC-Ca-36 scores were summarized using descriptive statistics. Predictors of PCC-Ca-36, FACT-G, and FOSI-18 scores were identified using multiple linear regression. Results: Participants (n = 176) had a mean age of 59.4 years (SD = 12.1). The majority (65.9%) had advanced-stage disease, while 42.0% were receiving treatment. The mean PCC-Ca-36 total score was 4.09 (SD = 0.78) out of a possible 5, indicating participants often perceived that clinicians engaged in PCC. Among the PCC functions, participants reported that clinicians least often enabled patient self-management (M = 3.65, SD = 0.99), responded to emotions (M = 3.84, SD = 1.04), and managed uncertainty (M = 3.91, SD = 0.93). In multivariable analyses, neither physician specialty nor patient and health system characteristics were significantly associated with overall PCC. Greater overall PCC predicted better overall HRQoL; better social/family, emotional, and functional well-being; and lower overall and physical symptom burden (all p ≤ 0.05). Conclusion: Greater PCC is significantly associated with better HRQoL and lower symptom burden among individuals with ovarian cancer. Practice implications: Promotion of PCC is a promising strategy to improve patient-reported outcomes in the ovarian cancer care setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)408-418
Number of pages11
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Communication
  • Ovarian neoplasms
  • Physician-patient relations
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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