Toolkit Study

Study to Improve Quality of Communication Between Providers & Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients

Good communication between providers and patients is a necessary component of quality, patient-centered cancer care. Helping metastatic breast cancer patients understand their diagnosis and disease progression can be challenging, but ensuring that patients have a clear understanding of the disease and treatment options along the continuum of care is essential to informed patient decision-making.

The Metastatic Breast Cancer Communication Toolkit (known as the "Dandelion Toolkit") offers a visual approach to support and foster clear, high-quality provider-patient communication about metastatic breast cancer. 

U.S.-based cancer programs or practices were invited to participate in a multi-site study utilizing the Dandelion Toolkit with their metastatic breast cancer patients. The purpose of the study was to gain insight on overcoming the communication barriers between healthcare teams, patients, and their caregivers when diagnosing advanced breast cancer and discussing treatment options. Click here to learn more about phase one of this study.  

For this study, participants must be:

  1. From a U.S.-based cancer program or practice currently treating metastatic breast cancer patients.
  2. Prepared to attend a brief, online orientation to learn how to use the toolkit effectively and how other ACCC sites have used the toolkit.
  3. Willing to complete a follow-up survey on the ways your cancer program has used the toolkit.

Recruitment for this study has closed.

As ACCC continues to make the Dandelion Toolkit more broadly available, please use the new Metastatic Breast Cancer Resource Library to access a robust portfolio of curated materials to support your patients. 
Explore Resource Library


What is included in the Dandelion Toolkit? 

  • A simple card to guide introductory discussions with patients and annotate imaging, pathology, and treatment plans in minutes.
  • A bound card deck with more detailed information, completely tailored to the patient's diagnosis.

How does it work?

Dandelion ToolA dandelion is used as a visual metaphor to explain key concepts of: 

  • Breast cancer staging
  • Tumor sites (imaging)
  • Subtype (pathology)
  • Treatment options
  • Quality of life options

The toolkit also helps initiate topics not easily discussed, such as: 

  • Fertility issues
  • Palliative care
  • Life goals
  • Choices not to undergo treatment

Clinicians who have already used the Dandelion Toolkit have observed: 

  • Saves time: less repetition of information to patients in subsequent visits
  • Increases discussion quality: more is discussed in the same amount of time
  • Enhances family support: family members understood the rationale and agreed with decisions
  • Supports patient confidence: patients felt more in control
  • Levels communication: patients and practitioners can communicate without medical jargon
  • Facilitates communication: easier communication with low literacy patients

See what Lillie Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, has to say about using the Dandelion Toolkit in practice.

Questions? Please contact resources@accc-cancer.org.

Our Partners

Cancer Support Community
MBC Alliance
Worldwide Breast Cancer Logo 

Our Sponsor

Pfizer Oncology

Sponsored by Pfizer Oncology.