Provider perspectives on the utility of a colorectal cancer screening decision aid for facilitating shared decision making

Health Expect. 2014 Feb;17(1):27-35. doi: 10.1111/j.1369-7625.2011.00730.x. Epub 2011 Sep 8.


Background: Decision aids for colorectal cancer (CRC) screening have been shown to enable patients to identify a preferred screening option, but the extent to which such tools facilitate shared decision making (SDM) from the perspective of the provider is less well established.

Objective: Our goal was to elicit provider feedback regarding the impact of a CRC screening decision aid on SDM in the primary care setting.

Methods: Cross-sectional survey.

Participants: Primary care providers participating in a clinical trial evaluating the impact of a novel CRC screening decision aid on SDM and adherence.

Main outcomes: Perceptions of the impact of the tool on decision-making and implementation issues.

Results: Twenty-nine of 42 (71%) eligible providers responded, including 27 internists and two nurse practitioners. The majority (>60%) felt that use of the tool complimented their usual approach, increased patient knowledge, helped patients identify a preferred screening option, improved the quality of decision making, saved time and increased patients' desire to get screened. Respondents were more neutral is their assessment of whether the tool improved the overall quality of the patient visit or patient satisfaction. Fewer than 50% felt that the tool would be easy to implement into their practices or that it would be widely used by their colleagues.

Conclusion: Decision aids for CRC screening can improve the quality and efficiency of SDM from the provider perspective but future use is likely to depend on the extent to which barriers to implementation can be addressed.

Keywords: decision aids; informed decision making; shared decision making.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / psychology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Decision Making*
  • Decision Support Techniques*
  • Early Detection of Cancer / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Participation / methods*
  • Patient Participation / psychology
  • Primary Health Care