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Med Decis Making. 2006 Jul-Aug;26(4):360-72.

A randomized controlled trial of a decision aid for women at increased risk of ovarian cancer.

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  • 1Department of Medical Oncology, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, Australia.



To carry out a randomized controlled trial of a decision aid for women at increased risk of developing ovarian cancer to facilitate decision making regarding risk management options.


This randomized trial, conducted through 6 familial cancer centers, compared the efficacy of tailored decision aid to that of a general educational pamphlet in preparing women for decision making.


131 women with a family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer or of hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer.


Decisional conflict, knowledge about ovarian cancer risk management options, and psychological adjustment were reassessed at 3 time points.


Compared to those who received the pamphlet (control), women who received the decision aid (intervention) were significantly more likely to report a high degree of acceptability of the educational material at both follow-up assessment time points. Findings indicate neither group experienced significant increases in psychological distress at either follow-up assessment time points relative to baseline. Two weeks postintervention, the intervention group demonstrated a significant decrease in decisional conflict compared to the control group (t = 2.4, P < 0.025) and a trend for a greater increase in knowledge about risk management options (t = 2.1, P = 0.037). No significant differences were found 6 months postintervention.


This form of educational material is successful in increasing knowledge about risk management options and in reducing decisional conflict in the shorter term. The decision aid is an effective and acceptable strategy for patient education to facilitate an inclusive and informed decision-making process about managing ovarian cancer risk.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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