About Professor Phyllis Butow

Finding evidence to support best practice in the care of people with illness.

Over the past 20 years Professor Butow has established herself at the forefront of psych-oncology research, she has a distinguished reputation as one of the leading international experts on the topic of doctor patient communication.

Professor Butow has a Chair in Psychology, and is a Director of the Medical Psychology Research Unit, and the Surgical Outcomes Research Centre, University of Sydney. She is currently an NHMRC Principal Research Fellow. Over the past 20 years, Professor Butow has developed an international reputation in Psycho-Oncology.  She has published 120 articles in refereed journals. Her work is strongly featured in Psychosocial Clinical Practice Guidelines (both for generic and breast cancer) produced by NBCC and endorsed by the NHMRC. Professor Butow is particularly recognised for her expertise in evaluating strategies (such as question prompt sheets and decision aids) to improve doctor-patient communication.

Selected publications

  • Koh T, Butow PN, Coory M, et al. Provision of taped conversations with neonatologists to mothers of babies in intensive care: randomised controlled trial. British Medical Journal 2007;334(7583):28-31. PubMedId: 17142256
  • Clayton JM, Butow PN, Tattersall MHN, et al. Randomized controlled trial of a prompt list to help advanced cancer patients and their caregivers to ask questions about prognosis and end-of-life care. Journal of Clinical Oncology 2007;25(6):715-723. PubMedId: 17308275
  • Hagerty RG, Butow PN, Ellis PA, et al. Cancer patient preferences for communication of prognosis in the metastatic setting. Journal of Clinical Oncology 2004;22(9):1721-1730. PubMedId: 15117995
  • Gattellari M, Voigt KJ, Butow PN, et al. When the treatment goal is not cure: Are cancer patients equipped to make informed decisions? Journal of Clinical Oncology 2002;20(2):503-513. PubMedId: 11786580
  • Ellis PM, Butow PN, Tattersall MHN, et al. Randomized clinical trials in oncology: Understanding and attitudes predict willingness to participate. Journal of Clinical Oncology 2001;19(15):3554-3561. PubMedId: 11481363
  • Brown R, Butow PN, Boyer MJ, et al. Promoting patient participation in the cancer consultation: evaluation of a prompt sheet and coaching in question asking. British Journal of Cancer 1999;80(1-2):242-248. PubMedId: 10390003
  • Butow PN, Maclean M, Dunn SM, et al. The dynamics of change: Cancer patients' preferences for information, involvement and support. Annals of Oncology 1997;8(9):857-863. PubMedId: 9358935
  • Butow PN, Kazemi JN, Beeney LJ, et al. When the diagnosis is cancer - Patient communication experiences and preferences. Cancer 1996;77(12):2630-2637. PubMedId: 8640715
  • Butow PN, Dunn SM, Tattersall MHN, et al. Computer-Based Interaction Analysis of the Cancer Consultation. British Journal of Cancer 1995;71(5):1115-1121. PubMedId: 7734311
  • Butow PN, Dunn SM, Tattersall MHN, et al. Patient Participation in the Cancer Consultation - Evaluation of a Question Prompt Sheet. Annals of Oncology 1994;5(3):199-204. PubMedId: 8186168