Decision aids for second-line palliative chemotherapy: a randomised phase II multicentre trial
SourceBMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 17, 1, (2017), pp. 130
Article / Letter to editor
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BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making
SubjectRadboudumc 0: Other Research RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 17: Women's cancers RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 9: Rare cancers RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
BACKGROUND: There is increasing recognition of the delicate balance between the modest benefits of palliative chemotherapy and the burden of treatment. Decision aids (DAs) can potentially help patients with advanced cancer with these difficult treatment decisions, but providing detailed information could have an adverse impact on patients' well-being. The objective of this randomised phase II study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of DAs for patients with advanced cancer considering second-line chemotherapy. METHODS: Patients with advanced breast or colorectal cancer considering second-line treatment were randomly assigned to usual care (control group) or usual care plus a DA (intervention group) in a 1:2 ratio. A nurse offered a DA with information on adverse events, tumour response and survival. Outcome measures included patient-reported well-being (primary outcome: anxiety) and quality of the decision-making process and the resulting choice. RESULTS: Of 128 patients randomised, 45 were assigned to the control group and 83 to the intervention group. Median age was 62 years (range 32-81), 63% were female, and 73% had colorectal cancer. The large majority of patients preferred treatment with chemotherapy (87%) and subsequently commenced treatment with chemotherapy (86%). No adverse impact on patients' well-being was found and nurses reported that consultations in which the DAs were offered went well. Being offered the DA was associated with stronger treatment preferences (3.0 vs. 2.5; p=0.030) and increased subjective knowledge (6.7 vs. 6.3; p=0.022). Objective knowledge, risk perception and perceived involvement were comparable between the groups. CONCLUSIONS: DAs containing detailed risk information on second-line palliative treatment could be delivered to patients with advanced cancer without having an adverse impact on patient well-being. Surprisingly, the DAs only marginally improved the quality of the decision-making process. The effectiveness of DAs for palliative treatment decisions needs further exploration. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Netherlands Trial Registry (NTR): NTR1113 (registered on 2 November 2007).
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