Improving Patient-Centered Communication in Breast Cancer: A RCT of a Shared Decision Engagement System (ShaDES) The diagnosis of breast cancer triggers a cascade of decisions as patients consider multiple treatment modalities navigated by different specialists. Precise evaluative treatment algorithms have better individualized treatment recommendations, [yet sifting through the complexity of the test information and treatment options can be often challenging to patients and can often cause anxiety]. Thus, the advances of precision medicine cannot be realized without parallel advances in patient-centered communication (PCC). This rapidly evolving decision context has fueled a pressing need for more patient-centered communication to address the full breadth of issues?both cognitive and emotional?faced by patients in making breast cancer treatment decisions. There is a critical need for tools that can engage the patient both emotionally and cognitively and be integrated into the breast oncology care clinical workflow. This project is a multi-level, factorial study that crosses a patient-level RCT of 700 newly-diagnosed breast cancer patients within 25 breast surgical oncology practices to evaluate a shared decision engagement system (ShaDES) to support PCC. The system links an emotional support-enhanced version of the research group?s previously developed iCanDecide patient-facing decision tool with a clinic level trial of a Clinician Dashboard to help clinicians address remaining cognitive and emotional needs in their patients. In collaboration with the Alliance NCORP Research Base and its Statistics and Data Core, the trial will: 1) evaluate the impact of the emotional support enhancements to iCanDecide on primary and secondary outcomes measuring patient appraisal of PCC, 2) evaluate the impact of the Clinician Dashboard on patient appraisal of PCC, 3) examine potential mediators of the patient and clinic interventions, and 4) conduct a process evaluation of the two intervention components to inform revision and future widespread implementation of ShaDES. [The results will lay the groundwork for broad implementation of a shared decision engagement system to improve patient-centered communication in breast cancer.]

Public Health Relevance

This study will identify important patient-based emotional motivators of treatment decision making in breast cancer clinical care and test an innovative web-based shared decision engagement system for use by both breast cancer patients and their clinicians. The overall results of this intervention study will lay the groundwork for broad implementation of a shared decision engagement system to improve patient centered communication and decision making in breast cancer.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Research Project (R01)
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Nursing and Related Clinical Sciences Study Section (NRCS)
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Kobrin, Sarah
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University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
Ann Arbor
United States
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