Introduction: Socioeconomic disparities for breast cancer surgical care exist. Although the aetiology of the observed socioeconomic disparities is likely multifactorial, patient engagement during the surgical consult is critical. Shared decision-making may reduce health disparities by addressing barriers to patient engagement in decision-making that disproportionately impact socioeconomically disadvantaged patients. In this trial, we test the impact of a decision aid on increasing socioeconomically disadvantaged patients' engagement in breast cancer surgery decision-making.
Methods and analysis: This multisite randomised trial is conducted through 10 surgical clinics within the National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP). We plan a stepped-wedge design with clinics randomised to the time of transition from usual care to the decision aid arm. Study participants are female patients, aged ≥18 years, with newly diagnosed stage 0-III breast cancer who are planning breast surgery. Data collection includes a baseline surgeon survey, baseline patient survey, audio-recording of the surgeon-patient consultation, a follow-up patient survey and medical record data review. Interviews and focus groups are conducted with a subset of patients, surgeons and clinic stakeholders. The effectiveness of the decision aid at increasing patient engagement (primary outcome) is evaluated using generalised linear mixed-effects models. The extent to which the effect of the decision aid intervention on patient engagement is mediated through the mitigation of barriers is tested in joint linear structural equation models. Qualitative interviews explore how barriers impact engagement, especially for socioeconomically disadvantaged women.
Ethics and dissemination: This protocol has been approved by the National Cancer Institute Central Institutional Review Board, and Certificate of Confidentiality has been obtained. We plan to disseminate the findings through journal publications and national meetings, including the NCORP network. Our findings will advance the science of medical decision-making with the potential to reduce socioeconomic health disparities.
Trial registration number: ClinicalTrials.gov Registry (NCT03766009).
Keywords: Breast surgery; Breast tumours; Protocols & guidelines.
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