Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 72555
The Current Level of Shared Decision-Making in Head-And-Neck Oncology: An Exploratory Study – Preliminary Results

Authors: Anne N. Heirman, Song Duimel, Rob van Son, Lisette van der Molen, Richard Dirven, Gyorgi B. Halmos, Julia van Weert, Michiel W.M. van den Brekel


Objectives: Treatments for head-neck cancer are drastic and often significantly impact the quality of life and appearance of patients. Shared decision-making (SDM) beholds a collaboration between patient and doctor in which the most suitable treatment can be chosen by integrating patient preferences, values, and medical information. SDM has a lot of advantages that would be useful in making difficult treatment choices. The objective of this study was to determine the current level of SDM among patients and head-and-neck surgeons. Methods: Consultations of patients with a non-cutaneous head-and-neck malignancy facing a treatment decision were selected and included. If given informed consent, the consultation was recorded with an audio recorder, and the patient and surgeon filled in a questionnaire immediately after the consultation. The SDM level of the consultation was scored objectively by independent observers who judged audio recordings of the consultation using the OPTION5-scale, ranging from 0% (no SDM) to 100% (optimum SDM), as well as subjectively by patients (using the SDM-Q-9 and Control preference scale) and clinicians (SDM-Q-Doc, modified control preference scale) percentages. Preliminary results: Five head-neck surgeons have each at least seven recorded conversations with different patients. One of them was trained in SDM. The other four had no experience with SDM. Most patients were male (74%), and oropharyngeal carcinoma was the most common diagnosis (41%), followed by oral cancer (33%). Five patients received palliative treatment of which two patients were not treated recording guidelines. At this moment, all recordings are scored by the two independent observers. Analysis of the results will follow soon. Conclusion: The current study will determine to what extent there is a discrepancy between the objective and subjective level of shared decision-making (SDM) during a doctor-patient consultation in Head-and-Neck surgery. The results of the analysis will follow shortly.

Keywords: head-and-neck oncology, patient involvement, physician-patient relations, shared decision making

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