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Br J Cancer. 2008 Jun 3;98(11):1769-73. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6604395. Epub 2008 May 27.

Enhancing treatment decision-making: pilot study of a treatment decision aid in stage IV non-small cell lung cancer.

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  • 1Division of Medical Oncology, Princess Margaret Hospital/University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


We developed a decision aid (DA) for patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), to better inform patients of their prognosis and treatment options, and facilitate involvement in decision-making. In a pilot study, 20 patients with metastatic NSCLC attending outpatient clinics at a major cancer centre, who had already made a treatment decision, reviewed acceptability of the DA. The median age of the patients was 61 years (range 37-77 years), 35% were male, 20% had a university education, and most (75%) had English as a first language. Most had received chemotherapy, with 65% currently on treatment. Patients were not anxious at baseline and had clear understanding of the goals and toxicity of chemotherapy in advanced NSCLC. After reviewing the DA, patients' anxiety decreased slightly (P=0.04) and knowledge scores improved by 25% (P<0.001). Most improvements in understanding were of prognosis with and without chemotherapy, although patients still believed advanced NSCLC to be curable. Patients rated the DA highly with respect to information clarity, usefulness and were positive about its use in practice, although 40% found the prognostic information slightly upsetting. The DA for advanced NSCLC is feasible, acceptable to patients and improves understanding of advanced NSCLC without increasing patient anxiety.

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