Breast cancer patients face complex decisions about immediate breast reconstruction (BR) after mastectomy. We evaluated the efficacy of an online decision aid in improving the decision-making process, decision quality and health outcomes in breast cancer patients considering immediate BR.
We included 250 patients. Decisional conflict decreased over time in both groups, with no between group differences. Intervention participants felt better prepared for decision making than controls (P = .002). At T2, 87% of intervention participants were (very) satisfied with the information about BR, compared to 73% of control participants (P = .011). No significant between group differences were observed in any other outcome.
In a multicenter randomized controlled trial, patients were allocated to either the intervention group receiving care-as-usual (CAU) with access to an online decision aid, or the control group receiving CAU with an information leaflet. The primary outcome was decisional conflict. Secondary outcomes assessed the process of decision making (e.g. preparation for decision making, satisfaction with information), decision quality (decision regret, knowledge) and health outcomes (e.g. satisfaction with BR outcomes, body image). Patients completed questionnaires at baseline (T0), 1 week after consultation with a plastic surgeon (T1), 3 months (T2), and 12 months post-surgery (T3).
Our online decision aid was as effective in reducing decisional conflict as an information leaflet about immediate BR after mastectomy. However, the decision aid substantially improved the decision-making process by better preparing breast cancer patients for decisions about immediate BR.