Inspired by Dr. Jeff Belkora's work with shared decision making at the UCSF Breast Care Center, Dr. Belinda Hacking brought a similar model to Edinburgh. Macmillan Cancer Support provided Belinda and her team with a generous grant for a pilot study integrating decision support into medical care for breast, prostate, brain and colorectal cancer. Preliminary results have shown that patients believed the intervention had a positive effect on their experience.
Alicia works as a community manager at The HIT Community, a start-up company based in Wakefield, MA. She contributes to the User's View Blog providing her perspective on health information technology and social media issues facing patients and healthcare workers in today's rapidly changing healthcare industry. With an engineering background and MBA/MS degrees in information systems, Alicia applies her technical knowledge in creative ways to bring different healthcare communities together to leverage knowledge, solutions, and support in efficient, effective ways.
This article describes a study that found that patients with cancer who viewed a video of various goals-of-care options, in addition to a verbal description were more likely to prefer comfort measures and avoid CPR. The study found that these patients were also more knowledgeable regarding advanced care treatment options and felt more certain about their decision compared to patients only hearing a verbal narrative. This article differs from some other studies regarding decision aids since other uses of video decision support tools have focused on helping people make treatment or screening decisions, whereas this video was used to initiate end-of-life discussions.
This commentary article criticizes the current practice in health care to conduct cancer screening without first informing patients about the benefits and harms of screening tests. Stefanek believes that the lack of transparent presentation of data about known harms and benefits has resulted in a bias towards screening and an inflated view of how much the reduction in cancer mortality can be attributed to cancer screening overall. Stefanek proposes that effort should be refocused on educating rather than persuading the public.