Decision support by telephone: randomized controlled trial in a rural community setting

Patient Educ Couns. 2012 Oct;89(1):134-42. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2012.06.009. Epub 2012 Jul 7.


Objective: Our community-based participatory research partnership previously evaluated Consultation Planning (CP), a question-listing intervention delivered in-person. We now report on effectiveness, cost, and value of delivering CP by telephone (Tele-CP).

Methods: Between 2007 and 2010, we randomly assigned rural women with a diagnosis of breast cancer to receive Tele-CP or In-Person CP. We compared ratings of decision self-efficacy (0 minimum to 4 maximum) with a pre-specified non-inferiority margin of 15%. We also explored psychosocial and economic outcomes.

Results: Tele-CP (n=35) recipients reported mean decision self-efficacy ratings of 3.53 versus 3.44 for in-person (n=32). Under intent-to-treat analysis, we rejected the null hypothesis of greater than 0.52 inferiority for Tele-CP (95% CI for difference: -0.44 to 0.13, p=0.006). The intervention costs averaged $48 for Tele-CP versus $78 in-person (95% CI for difference: -$63 to $2). Mean willingness-to-pay was $154 for Tele-CP and $144 for in-person (95% CI for difference: -$88 to $108).

Conclusion: Tele-CP was non-inferior to In-Person CP, cost no more, and was equally valued by patients.

Practice implications: Telephone delivery of Consultation Planning can achieve comparable quality, cost, and value as in-person. Organizations offering Consultation Planning or similar question-listing interventions should consider adopting telephone delivery.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms / economics
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Community-Based Participatory Research
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Decision Making*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Referral and Consultation / economics*
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data
  • Rural Health Services / organization & administration
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data
  • Self Efficacy
  • Social Support*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Telephone*