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Health Expect. 2006 Sep;9(3):218-31.

Preliminary testing of a just-in-time, user-defined values clarification exercise to aid lower literate women in making informed breast cancer treatment decisions.

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  • 1Department of Family and Community Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77098, USA.



To report on the initial testing of a values clarification exercise utilizing a jewellery box within a computerized patient decision aid (CPtDA) designed to assist women in making a surgical breast cancer treatment decision.


Pre-post design, with patients interviewed after diagnosis, and then after completing the CPtDA sometime later at their preoperative visit.


Fifty-one female patients, who are low literate and naïve computer users, newly diagnosed with early stage breast cancer from two urban public hospitals.


A computerized decision aid that combines entertainment-education (edutainment) with enhanced (factual) content. An interactive jewellery box is featured to assist women in: (1) recording and reflecting over issues of concern with possible treatments, (2) deliberating over surgery decision, and (3) communicating with physician and significant others.


Patients' use of the jewellery box to store issues during completion of the CPtDA, and perceived clarity of values in making a treatment decision, as measured by a low literacy version of the Decisional Conflict Scale (DCS).


Over half of the participants utilized the jewellery box to store issues they found concerning about the treatments. On average, users flagged over 13 issues of concern with the treatments. Scores on the DCS Uncertainty and Feeling Unclear about Values subscales were lower after the intervention compared to before the decision was made.


A values clarification exercise using an interactive jewellery box may be a promising method for promoting informed treatment decision making by low literacy breast cancer patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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