Shared decision making: Prostate cancer patients' appraisal of treatment alternatives and oncologists' eliciting and responding behavior, an explorative study - Abstract

Department of Medical Decision Making, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands.


To assess clinicians' use of shared decision making (SDM) skills, enabling patient treatment evaluations (appraisals); and varieties of patient appraisals and clinicians' preceding and following utterances.

Two coders rated videotaped initial visits of 25 early-stage prostate cancer patients to their radiation oncologist. SDM skills were assessed using the Decision Analysis System for Oncology (DAS-O); appraisals and clinicians' utterances were labeled using qualitative methodology.

Clinicians offered a treatment choice to 10 patients. They informed 15/25 about pros and 20/25 about cons of options. Patients expressed 67 appraisals (median/visit=2; range, 0-12). Half of appraisals were favorable and one-fourth was unfavorable toward treatment options. One-fifth referred to explicit tradeoffs. One-third of appraisals followed clinician requests; 58% followed clinician information. Clinicians approved almost half of appraisals. They contested, ignored or highlighted a minority.

Clinicians infrequently offered patients a choice or explored appraisals. Most appraisals supported rather than challenged treatment options. Clinicians most often legitimized appraisals, thereby helping patients to feel good about the decision. Exploring appraisals may help patients in forming more stable preferences, thus benefiting patients in the long run.

Clinicians should request patient appraisals and ascertain whether these seem well-informed before making treatment recommendations.

Written by:
Pieterse AH, Henselmans I, de Haes HC, Koning CC, Geijsen ED, Smets EM.   Are you the author?

Reference: Patient Educ Couns. 2011 Jun 7. Epub ahead of print.
doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2011.05.012

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 21658883 Prostate Cancer Section