Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women. Lung cancer is unique because of racial disparity, persistent mortality rate, and social stigma. Lung cancer stigma (LCS) and difficult patient-clinician communication may be an underlying factor in health disparities in lung cancer. The purpose of this study is to PILOT test, in a diverse sample of lung cancer patients the effectiveness of the mHealth Tool for Lung Cancer patients (mHealthTLC), an interactive, immersive 3-dimensional iPad application that allows individuals to experience first person virtual visits with their clinicians, to improve patient-clinician communication, decrease LCS, and promote optimal self-management. The study hypotheses are that patients who receive the mHealth TLC will improve their ability to communicate effectively with their clinicians and will report decreased stigma related to their lung cancer diagnosis compared to the attention control group.
This is a two arm experimental design PILOT test of the mHealth Tool for Lung Cancer patients (mHealthTLC) an intervention to improve patient-clinician communication, decrease lung cancer stigma, and decrease lung cancer symptom scores. Patients will be assigned to either the mHealth TLC group or the Attention Control Group (ACG). Interventions in both groups will be delivered online or by iPad in a research office in the clinician's building prior to each visit. Assessments will be done immediately after each visit in the same research room. Intervention and assessment pre-visit is expected to take less than one hour, the intervention is expected to take 30mins, and post assessment is expected to take 30 minutes. A follow-up assessment will be done at 3 months from enrollment.
mhealth TLC group will meet with a nurse just before each of 4 clinician visits and use the mHealth TLC on an iPad with an interactive, immersive 3-dimensional (3-D) intervention that allows individuals to experience virtual visits with their clinicians. The mHealth TLC provides engagement and experiential learning by delivering important information about symptom management and provides the opportunity to practice a new communication strategy in ever increasing complex situations with a virtual coach, receptionist, assistant, and clinician.During the mHealthTLC the patient will enter a virtual clinic office, travel through the different aspects of a typical clinic visit, and interact with office staff and clinicians that are represented by avatars. The avatars will be designed to reflect ethnic and cultural diversity. First person is the preferred format for health teaching because the patient is active as self and not represented as an avatar. The first person vantage point facilitates the immersion and immediacy of the experience. Key aspects of mHealthTLC include informational videos about lung cancer (i.e. etiology, diagnosis, treatment, symptoms) and LCS. Blame and self-blame will be addressed, information about the role of addiction, social/cultural factors, and tobacco industry influence on smoking behaviors will be highlighted. Information and training will be provided and patients will be able to experience practiced interaction in ever increasing complex situations with avatars (i.e., receptionist, medical assistant, and clinician). A "virtual coach" will accompany the patient through the virtual visit and will provide information and coaching (as needed). The advantages to adding a virtual coach or avatar include the availability of an always-live agent and the capability of customizing the coach to represent an ideal social model for a particular user or group of users.Flexibility exists in how to design not only how the coach will appear but also how the coach will sound - with an appropriate voice and engaging non-verbal communication). This approach contributes to cultural and ethnic sensitivity. As the patient attempts to communicate and receive information appropriate for a self-management plan, they will receive "points" for successful communication. A cumulative score and explanation will be given at the end of the virtual visit. During the visit the participant will identify specific topics and questions that they want to address during their visit with their real clinician; they will receive a printout of their priority questions that they can take into the visit with their real clinician. The research nurse will review the score, the priority questions, and the overall virtual experience. Virtual environments for learning are sufficiently promising that further investment and development of this type of research is warranted.
Attention control group (ACG)- Patients assigned to the ACG will meet with a nurse and receive the informational videos from the mHealth TLC on an iPad before 4 clinician visits with assessments after each clinician visit. An effort will be made to match the intervention condition on salience, credibility, and contact time.
Lung Neoplasms Lung cancer stigma virtual intervention mHealth
Open to people ages 21 years and up
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