Pre-consultation educational group intervention to improve shared decision-making in postmastectomy breast reconstruction: study protocol for a pilot randomized controlled trial

Trials. 2013 Jul 6:14:199. doi: 10.1186/1745-6215-14-199.


Background: The Pre-Consultation Educational Group INTERVENTION pilot study seeks to assess the feasibility and inform the optimal design for a definitive randomized controlled trial that aims to improve the quality of decision-making in postmastectomy breast reconstruction patients.

Methods/design: This is a mixed-methods pilot feasibility randomized controlled trial that will follow a single-center, 1:1 allocation, two-arm parallel group superiority design.

Setting: The University Health Network, a tertiary care cancer center in Toronto, Canada.

Participants: Adult women referred to one of three plastic and reconstructive surgeons for delayed breast reconstruction or prophylactic mastectomy with immediate breast reconstruction.

Intervention: We designed a multi-disciplinary educational group workshop that incorporates the key components of shared decision-making, decision-support, and psychosocial support for cancer survivors prior to the initial surgical consult. The intervention consists of didactic lectures by a plastic surgeon and nurse specialist on breast reconstruction choices, pre- and postoperative care; a value-clarification exercise led by a social worker; and discussions with a breast reconstruction patient.

Control: Usual care includes access to an informational booklet, website, and patient volunteer if desired.

Outcomes: Expected pilot outcomes include feasibility, recruitment, and retention targets. Acceptability of intervention and full trial outcomes will be established through qualitative interviews. Trial outcomes will include decision-quality measures, patient-reported outcomes, and service outcomes, and the treatment effect estimate and variability will be used to inform the sample size calculation for a full trial.

Discussion: Our pilot study seeks to identify the (1) feasibility, acceptability, and design of a definitive RCT and (2) the optimal content and delivery of our proposed educational group intervention. Thirty patients have been recruited to date (8 April 2013), of whom 15 have been randomized to one of three decision support workshops. The trial will close as planned in May 2013.

Trial registration: NCT01857882.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Breast Implantation*
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Decision Making*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Mastectomy*
  • Ontario
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Patient Participation
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Pilot Projects
  • Referral and Consultation*
  • Research Design*
  • Self Efficacy
  • Treatment Outcome

Associated data