Improving Communication About Serious Illness (ICSI)
Principal Investigator:  JR Curtis
Research Contract:  Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), August 2013 to December 2016

This study is designed as a randomized trial of a communication feedback intervention designed to improve end-of-life communication and decision-making among physicians, nurses, families, and patients who have chronic, life-limiting illness.  The intervention will involve the use of feedback forms that will be created by surveying patients about their communication and treatment preferences.  The subsequent reports that are generated will be the feedback forms shared with the patient’s clinicians and family.

Our primary aim is to demonstrate to demonstrate the effectiveness of a communication intervention to improve end-of-life care for patients with chronic, life-limiting illness.  The outcomes we will measure include symptoms of anxiety in the context of receiving care for a life-limiting illness, symptoms of depression, quality of life, concordance between care that patients report they want and care they actually receive, and quality of communication about end-of-life care between patients, their clinicians, and their family members.  The second long term objective of this study is to demonstrate the feasibility of making this intervention a routine part of clinical care.

clinicaltrials.gov:  http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT01933789

Publications from this study include:


Undergraduate Research Symposium — May 2017

Poster Session:  Improving Communication about Serious Illness
Presenter:  Tori Ly, Senior, Neurobiology;  Mary Gates Scholar, UW Honors Program
Mentors:  Ruth Engelberg, J. Randall Curtis, & Patsy Treece, Medicine, Harborview Medical Center




Fakhri S, Engelberg RA, Downey L, Nielsen EL, Paul S, Lahdya AZ, Treece PD, Curtis JR. Factors Affecting Patients’ Preferences for and Actual Discussions About End-of-Life Care. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2016 Sep;52(3):386-94. Epub 2016 Jun 3. [#247]