Pilot trial of a computerized decision aid for breast cancer prevention

Breast J. 2007 Mar-Apr;13(2):147-54. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4741.2007.00395.x.


This study sought to evaluate a shared decision-making aid for breast cancer prevention care designed to help women make appropriate prevention decisions by presenting information about risk in context. The decision aid was implemented in a high-risk breast cancer prevention program and pilot-tested in a randomized clinical trial comparing standard consultations to use of the decision aid. Physicians completed training with the decision aid prior to enrollment. Thirty participants enrolled (15 per group) and completed measures of clinical feasibility and effectiveness prior to, immediately after, and at 9 months after their consultations. The decision aid was feasible to use during the consultations as measured by consultation duration, user satisfaction, patient knowledge, and decisional conflict. The mean consultation duration was not significantly different between groups (24 minutes for intervention group versus 21 minutes for control group, p = 0.42). The majority found the decision aid acceptable and useful and would recommend it to others. Both groups showed an improvement in breast cancer prevention knowledge postvisit, which was significant in the intervention group (p = 0.01) but not the control group (p = 0.13). However, the knowledge scores returned to baseline at follow-up in both groups. Decision preference for patients who chose chemoprevention post consultations remained constant at follow-up for the intervention group, but not for the control group. The decision framework provides access to key information during consultations and facilitates the integration of emerging biomarkers in this setting. Initial results suggest that the decision aid is feasible for use in the consultation room. The tendency for the decision choices and knowledge scores to return to baseline at follow-up suggests the need for initial and ongoing prevention decision support.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Decision Making, Computer-Assisted*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Patient Participation
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Pilot Projects
  • Risk Assessment
  • San Francisco