The use of decision aids on early detection of prostate cancer: views of men and general practitioners

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE - While decision support tools such as decision aids can contribute to shared decision making, implementing these tools in daily practice is challenging. To identify and address issues around the use of decision support tools in routine care, this study explores the views of men and general practitioners on using a DA for early detection of prostate cancer.

METHODS, SETTINGS AND PARTICIPANTS - Group discussions and semi-structured interviews were carried out with 43 men and 16 general practitioners familiar with a previously developed decision aid. Data were analysed using qualitative description.

RESULTS - Views on using the decision support tool could be classified into four categories: no need for decision making, need for support, perceived benefit and practical barriers. For each category, several underlying themes could be identified that reflect the absence or presence of prerequisites to successful decision support delivery.

CONCLUSIONS - While men and general practitioners generally have positive attitudes to shared decision making, for both parties attitudes such as not agreeing that there is a decision to be made and doubts on the beneficence of using DAs were identified as factors that may hinder the use of a DA in clinical practice. Participants formulated strategies to support the use of DAs, mainly supplementing DAs with short tools and investing in both training programmes and large-scale awareness raising of the general public.

Health expectations : an international journal of public participation in health care and health policy. 2016 Feb 18 [Epub ahead of print]

Annelies Engelen, Joke Vanderhaegen, Hendrik Van Poppel, Chantal Van Audenhove

KU Leuven LUCAS, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium. , KU Leuven LUCAS, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium. , Department of Development and Regeneration, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium. , KU Leuven LUCAS, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.