Skip to Main Content

U-CHAT: Understanding Communication in Health Care to Achieve Trust

About this study

Caring for a child with cancer is a team effort. The patient and parents talk with the cancer doctor, also known as a pediatric oncologist, and other medical team members to make treatment decisions. These discussions can be especially difficult when a child’s cancer has worsened or come back after treatment because the news is not as good as expected.

This study will evaluate the communication between parents whose children have been treated for certain solid tumors at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the children’s pediatric oncologists.

Purpose of this clinical trial

Researchers want to understand better how pediatric oncologists communicate with patient families. They also want to determine what steps doctors can take to improve the way they share information with parents and patients.

Eligibility overview

Parents of children with cancer:

  • Age 18 or older
  • Biological parent, step-parent or primary legal guardian
  • Reads and speaks English


  • Primary oncologist is enrolled in the study.
  • 30 years old or younger
  • Diagnosed with solid tumor and/or brain tumor
  • Likelihood of cure is 50% or less
  • Less than 3 months until end-of-therapy disease evaluation OR
  • Disease has relapsed, progressed or not responded to therapy

The above information is intended to provide only a basic description about a research protocol that may be currently active at St. Jude. The details made available here may not be the most up-to-date information on protocols used by St. Jude. To receive full details about a protocol and its status and or use at St. Jude, a physician must contact St. Jude directly.


Full title:

Understanding Communication in Health Care to Achieve Trust: A Prospective Longitudinal Investigation of Communication between Pediatric Oncologists, Children/Adolescents with High-Risk Cancer, and their Families at the Stressful Times of Disease Relapse or Progression

Study goal:

To identify recurrent verbal and nonverbal communication techniques employed by pediatric oncologists in the delivery of difficult prognostic information to parents through content analysis of audio recorded conversations between pediatric oncologists and parents of children with high-risk cancer at times of disease re-evaluation




Patients: Age 30 or younger
Parents: Age 18 or older

Clinical trials categories:

Childhood Cancer Solid Tumors Brain Tumors

For physicians and researchers

Patients accepted to St. Jude must be referred by a physician or other qualified medical professional. Learn how St. Jude can partner with you to care for your patient.


Learn more