Developers: Elizabeth Dent, Rhonda Brown, Sharon Dowsett, Martin Tattersall, Phyllis Butow

Year of publication: 2005

Date of last revision: 12 May 2023

Setting in which the tool was originally developed/validated: Oncology consultations

Restriction to setting(s): It was developed specifically for oncology consultations and would need adaptation for other medical settings.

Target group: Oncology outpatients or inpatients

Language(s): English

Tool topics:

Patient-centered communication
Patient participation / patient engagement (patient)

Specific constructs/behaviours:

CanCode is composed of three parts: (1) micro-level analysis in real time, retaining the sequence of events, (2) event counts, and (3) macro-level analysis of consultation style and affect. The consultation is divided into units of speech, which change when a person stops speaking or changes speech content. The coder gives each unit of speech four codes (marked on the transcript) whilst listening to the audio tape and looking at the transcript. The first is ‘source’ (doctor, patient or third party), the second ‘process’ (open and closed questions, initiated statements and responses to questions), the third ‘content’ (diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, medical history and presenting symptoms, other medical matters, social matters, and other), and the fourth, emotional tone (friendly/warm, tense/ anxious, sad/depressed, frustrated/angry or matter of fact). The coder enters the codes by keyboard into a specially designed software package while listening to the audio tape in real time. The space bar marks the end of each speech segment. The software is easily installed onto most computers. The computer calculates the time spent for each individual code, combination of codes, and the total consultation, as well as the number of times each code or combination of codes appears.

Types of data required to use the tool: Video recordings, Audio recordings

Intended application: Research

Reference(s) to development/validation paper(s):

Dent E, Brown R, Dowsett S, Tattersall M, Butow P. The Cancode interaction analysis system in the oncological setting: reliability and validity of video and audio tape coding. Patient Educ Couns. 2005 Jan;56(1):35-44. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2003.11.010. PMID: 15590221.

Tool/manual available: Yes. (I can provide the manual, but the computer program that calculated length of segments is no longer available. )

Tool description by the author:

This tool was intended as a general communication coding tool for oncology consultations to enable description of interactions between doctor, patient, and relatives.
Training is required for its use, although it is fairly self explanatory.

It is intended for research purposes, likely being too intensive for educational purposes.

Access: Public