Development and Acceptability of a Patient Decision Aid for Pain Management in Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis: The JIA Option Map

Patient. 2020 Dec;13(6):719-728. doi: 10.1007/s40271-020-00458-z. Epub 2020 Oct 9.


Background: Youths with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) often experience pain, which reduces their quality of life. A diversity of pain management options exists for these patients, but few discussions happen in clinical settings. Our team is developing a web-based patient decision aid (PDA) to help youths with JIA, parents, and their health care providers (HCPs) make informed and preference-based decisions about pain management options.

Objective: The objective of this study was to develop a paper-based prototype of the web-based PDA and to assess its acceptability.

Methods: We developed a paper-based prototype of the PDA, called the JIA Option Map, using an iterative process following the International Patient Decision Aid Standards and based on the Ottawa Decision Support Framework. We held three consensus meetings and a follow-up online survey followed by discussions among team members to agree on the format and content of the PDA. We then evaluated acceptability through interviews with 12 youth with JIA (aged 8-18 years), 12 parents, and 11 HCPs. Participants from rheumatology clinics in Canada and the USA reviewed the PDA and assessed its usefulness, content, and format. Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using simple descriptive content analysis.

Results: The PDA contains an assessment of pain and current treatments, a values-clarification exercise, a list of 33 treatment options with evidence-based information, and a goal-setting exercise. All participants agreed that it would be a useful tool for making decisions about pain management. Participants appreciated the incorporation of scientific evidence and visuals to demonstrate the benefits of treatment options but suggested describing the source of the evidence more thoroughly. Participants suggested adding complementary medicine and nutrition to the available treatment options and removing options that are primarily used to reduce inflammation. Most participants preferred an interactive web-based version of the PDA that would show a few options consistent with their preferences, followed by a discussion with HCPs.

Conclusion: The PDA was deemed acceptable to all participants, with a few modifications. This feedback was used to improve the PDA by simplifying and clarifying the information and adjusting the number of treatment options presented. Work is underway to develop an interactive web-based version with an algorithm to present options tailored to each user.

Plain language summary

Youths with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) often feel pain and try many pain treatments such as medications and physical or psychological treatments. Choosing treatments can be hard for families, and health care providers do not always provide information on pain treatments. Our team is developing the JIA Option Map, a tool that presents information on pain treatments based on personal preferences. The tool takes patients through a five-step process where they describe their pain, express their preferences, and learn about more than 30 pain treatments. Patients can then choose treatments and make a plan to use them. This paper explains how a paper-based version of the tool was developed and whether it is suitable for youths, parents, and health care providers. The tool was developed by holding meetings with youths with JIA, health care providers, and researchers to agree on the content and format. We also interviewed youths with JIA, parents, and health care providers to test whether it was suitable. All participants felt that the tool was suitable and that it would be useful for making decisions about pain treatments. Participants liked the idea of using a web-based tool with coaching by health care providers. Work is underway to develop this improved version of the JIA Option Map.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Arthritis, Juvenile* / complications
  • Decision Support Techniques
  • Humans
  • Pain Management
  • Quality of Life
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

Associated data

  • figshare/10.6084/m9.figshare.12758642

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