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Development of a decision aid for primary treatment of patients with advanced-stage ovarian cancer


Introduction Despite renewed treatment options for advanced epithelial ovarian cancer, survival remains poor. The Patient Association and the Gynecological Oncology Working Party in the Netherlands have identified a need for a tool to improve shared decision-making. The aim of this study was to develop an evidence-based online decision aid for patients with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer and their medical team.

Methods First, we identified the patients’ and clinicians’ needs using surveys and in-depth interviews. Second, we conducted multidisciplinary face-to-face meetings with representatives from all stakeholders (clinicians and patient representatives) to determine the content of the decision aid. Third, we developed the decision aid using standardized criteria and national guidelines. Finally, we tested the usability of the tool with patients and clinicians who participated in the needs assessment.

Results Patients and clinicians indicated the need for more sources of reliable information that include all treatment options available in the Netherlands. Although most interviewees were satisfied with the level of information available at the time of their own treatment, the majority (90%) of the patients stated that no choice of treatment was offered. We developed a consultation sheet and an online decision aid based on patient interviews and team discussions. The sheet contains a summary of all treatment options and login codes for the decision aid; it will be offered to patients at their first consultation. The decision aid can be used at home and includes information about epithelial ovarian cancer and all available treatment options and questions about quality of life and treatment preferences, delivering a personalized summary for discussion during the following consultation about the primary treatment choices.

Discussion In cooperation with patients and clinicians, we developed a decision aid for advanced-stage epithelial ovarian cancer patients and their medical team to support shared decision-making, based on a confirmed need for more extensive information sources. The decision aid is currently under assessment in a multicenter implementation trial.

  • ovarian cancer

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