Impact of decision aids in a sustained implementation at a breast care center

Patient Educ Couns. 2012 Feb;86(2):195-204. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2011.05.011. Epub 2011 Jun 12.


Objective: We examined the reach and impact of five decision aids (DAs) routinely distributed to breast cancer patients as part of a shared decision making demonstration project.

Methods: From 2005 to 2008, we surveyed patients' change in knowledge and decisional conflict (DC) before and after their review of DAs. Using bivariate tests, we identified significant predictors of change in knowledge or decisional conflict and entered significant predictors into a multivariate regression model.

Results: We distributed 1553 DAs to 1098 patients and received 549 completed surveys. The DAs were associated with increased knowledge and decreased DC. For knowledge, significant predictors of above-average change included: lower baseline knowledge and viewing the surgery decision aid. For decisional conflict, significant predictors of above-average change included: higher decisional conflict; viewing any of the early-stage cancer DAs; and Hispanic ethnicity.

Conclusions: DAs used in routine care were associated with significant knowledge gains and reductions in decisional conflict. Some subsets of patients (those reporting low baseline knowledge, high DC, or Hispanic ethnicity) may benefit more than others.

Practice implications: Breast cancer patients benefit overall from routine distribution of DAs. Our exploratory findings may be useful in generating hypotheses to identify target populations who would most benefit from reviewing DAs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms* / psychology
  • Breast Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Decision Making*
  • Decision Support Techniques*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods
  • Patient Participation
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation
  • San Francisco
  • Socioeconomic Factors