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1.  Measuring decision quality: psychometric evaluation of a new instrument for breast cancer chemotherapy 
Background
Women diagnosed with early stage (I or II) breast cancer face a highly challenging decision – whether or not to undergo adjuvant chemotherapy. We developed a decision quality instrument for chemotherapy for early stage breast cancer and sought to evaluate its performance.
Methods
Cross-sectional, mailed survey of recent breast cancer survivors, providers, and healthy controls and a retest survey of survivors. The decision quality instrument includes questions on knowledge and personal goals. It results in a knowledge score and concordance score, which reflects the percentage of patients who received treatments that match their goals. Hypotheses related to acceptability, feasibility, validity, and reliability of the survey instrument were examined.
Results
Responses were received from 352 patients, 89 providers and 35 healthy controls. The decision quality instrument was feasible to implement with few missing data. The knowledge scores had good retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) =0.75). Knowledge scores discriminated between providers and patients (mean difference 31.1%, 95% CI 26.9, 35.3) and between patients and healthy controls (mean difference 11.2, 95% CI 5.4, 17.1). Most providers reported that the knowledge items covered essential content. Two of the five goal items had a ceiling effect, and one goal had low content validity. The goal items had moderate retest reliability (ICC’s 0.57 to 0.78). In the multivariable model of treatment, none of the patient goals was associated with receipt of chemotherapy. Age and hormone receptor status were the only variables independently associated with chemotherapy. Most patients (77.6%) had treatment concordant with that predicted by the model. Patients who had concordant treatment had similar levels of confidence and regret as those who did not.
Conclusions
The Decision Quality Instrument is a reliable and valid measure of patient knowledge about chemotherapy, but its ability to measure concordance with patient goals is limited. In this sample, patient goals were not associated with treatment, and most patients reported they were not asked their preference, suggesting that goals were not adequately considered in decision making.
doi:10.1186/1472-6947-14-73
PMCID: PMC4150558  PMID: 25142035
Decision; Regret; Breast cancer; Shared decision making; Quality of care; Decision quality; Chemotherapy; Adjuvant therapy
2.  Does Use of the Adjuvant! Model Influence Use of Adjuvant Therapy Through Better Risk Communication? 
Adjuvant! is a model that provides recurrence and mortality risk predictions for patients with breast cancer considering adjuvant therapies. Although low-risk patients who saw Adjuvant! chose adjuvant therapy less frequently, whether this was because of educational or other aspects of the decision aid is unknown. The authors explored whether Adjuvant! affects choice of therapy through increased patient knowledge. A subset of data were analyzed from a cluster randomized trial in which oncology practices in 2 major United States cities were randomly assigned to use either Adjuvant! or an informational pamphlet to educate patients. Of 405 patients, 48 were low-risk, with 28 assigned to the decision aid and 20 to the pamphlet. Among the low-risk patients, using frequency tables and Fisher exact tests, the authors explored whether Adjuvant! was associated with more accurate patient estimates of survival; whether accuracy was associated with treatment choice; and whether, after controlling for accuracy, any remaining association was seen between Adjuvant! and treatment choice. Adjuvant! was associated with more accurate estimates of baseline prognosis compared with the pamphlet (57% vs. 25%; P = .04). Patients who had more accurate estimates of baseline prognosis were less likely to choose adjuvant therapy (62% vs. 89%; P = .04). After controlling for accuracy, no statistically significant association was found between the use of Adjuvant! and adjuvant therapy (P = .59 and P = .11 for inaccurate and accurate patients, respectively). Adjuvant! seems to influence patient choice through educational rather than other means of persuasion. However, many patients held inaccurate risk perceptions after viewing Adjuvant!.
PMCID: PMC3528013  PMID: 21715722
Risk communication; shared decision-making; decision aids; Adjuvant!; breast cancer; patient education
3.  Measuring decision quality: psychometric evaluation of a new instrument for breast cancer surgery 
Background
The purpose of this paper is to examine the acceptability, feasibility, reliability and validity of a new decision quality instrument that assesses the extent to which patients are informed and receive treatments that match their goals.
Methods
Cross-sectional mail survey of recent breast cancer survivors, providers and healthy controls and a retest survey of survivors. The decision quality instrument includes knowledge questions and a set of goals, and results in two scores: a breast cancer surgery knowledge score and a concordance score, which reflects the percentage of patients who received treatments that match their goals. Hypotheses related to acceptability, feasibility, discriminant validity, content validity, predictive validity and retest reliability of the survey instrument were examined.
Results
We had responses from 440 eligible patients, 88 providers and 35 healthy controls. The decision quality instrument was feasible to implement in this study, with low missing data. The knowledge score had good retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.70) and discriminated between providers and patients (mean difference 35%, p < 0.001). The majority of providers felt that the knowledge items covered content that was essential for the decision. Five of the 6 treatment goals met targets for content validity. The five goals had moderate to strong retest reliability (0.64 to 0.87). The concordance score was 89%, indicating that a majority had treatments concordant with that predicted by their goals. Patients who had concordant treatment had similar levels of confidence and regret as those who did not.
Conclusions
The decision quality instrument met the criteria of feasibility, reliability, discriminant and content validity in this sample. Additional research to examine performance of the instrument in prospective studies and more diverse populations is needed.
doi:10.1186/1472-6947-12-51
PMCID: PMC3411423  PMID: 22681763
4.  Monitoring the Implementation of Consultation Planning, Recording, and Summarizing in a Breast Care Center 
Patient education and counseling  2008;73(3):536-543.
OBJECTIVE
We implemented and monitored a clinical service, Consultation Planning, Recording and Summarizing (CPRS), in which trained facilitators elicit patient questions for doctors, and then audio-record, and summarize the doctor-patient consultations.
METHODS
We trained 8 schedulers to offer CPRS to breast cancer patients making treatment decisions, and trained 14 premedical interns to provide the service. We surveyed a convenience sample of patients regarding their self-efficacy and decisional conflict. We solicited feedback from physicians, schedulers, and CPRS staff on our implementation of CPRS.
RESULTS
278 patients used CPRS over the 22 month study period, an exploitation rate of 32% compared to our capacity. Thirty-seven patients responded to surveys, providing pilot data showing improvements in self-efficacy and decisional conflict. Physicians, schedulers, and premedical interns recommended changes in the program’s locations; delivery; products; and screening, recruitment and scheduling processes.
CONCLUSION
Our monitoring of this implementation found elements of success while surfacing recommendations for improvement.
PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS
We made changes based on study findings. We moved Consultation Planning to conference rooms or telephone sessions; shortened the documents produced by CPRS staff; diverted slack resources to increase recruitment efforts; and obtained a waiver of consent in order to streamline and improve ongoing evaluation.
doi:10.1016/j.pec.2008.07.037
PMCID: PMC2622737  PMID: 18755564
Audio-recording; Implementation; Question prompting; Coaching; Shared Decision Making; Summaries
5.  Oncologist use of the Adjuvant! model for risk communication: a pilot study examining patient knowledge of 10-year prognosis 
BMC Cancer  2009;9:127.
Background
Our purpose was to collect preliminary data on newly diagnosed breast cancer patient knowledge of prognosis before and after oncology visits. Many oncologists use a validated prognostic software model, Adjuvant!, to estimate 10-year recurrence and mortality outcomes for breast cancer local and adjuvant therapy. Some oncologists are printing Adjuvant! screens to use as visual aids during consultations. No study has reported how such use of Adjuvant! printouts affects patient knowledge of prognosis. We hypothesized that Adjuvant! printouts would be associated with significant changes in the proportion of patients with accurate understanding of local therapy prognosis.
Methods
We recruited a convenience sample of 20 patients seen by 2 senior oncologists using Adjuvant! printouts of recurrence and mortality screens in our academic medical center. We asked patients for their estimates of local therapy recurrence and mortality risks and counted the number of patients whose estimates were within ± 5% of Adjuvant! before and after the oncology visit, testing whether pre/post changes were significant using McNemar's two-sided test at a significance level of 5%.
Results
Two patients (10%) accurately estimated local therapy recurrence and mortality risks before the oncology visit, while seven out of twenty (35%) were accurate afterwards (p = 0.125).
Conclusion
A majority of patients in our sample were inaccurate in estimating their local therapy recurrence and mortality risks, even after being shown printouts summarizing these risks during their oncology visits. Larger studies are needed to replicate or repudiate these preliminary findings, and test alternative methods of presenting risk estimates. Meanwhile, oncologists should be wary of relying exclusively on Adjuvant! printouts to communicate local therapy recurrence and mortality estimates to patients, as they may leave a majority of patients misinformed.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-9-127
PMCID: PMC2684746  PMID: 19400938

Results 1-5 (5)