The following article features coverage from the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois. Click here to read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor‘s conference coverage.                        

CHICAGO — An interactive treatment decision tool is better than static online information for preparing patients to make complicated decisions regarding their care, according to study findings presented at the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting.

In a study of 537 patients with newly diagnosed early-stage breast cancer, Sarah T. Hawley, PhD, MPH, and colleagues randomly assigned patients to use the interactive tool, called iCanDecide, or to access static online information (control group).

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The iCanDecide tool presents patients with multiple hypothetical treatment scenarios that allow them to score treatments based on their preferences. A computer quantifies patients’ responses in real-time; the computer individually links common themes across the ranked scenarios, thereby providing feedback to patients on their preferences.

Investigators surveyed patients 5 weeks postenrollment after locoregional treatment decision-making. The primary outcome was a high-quality decision, including 2 components: high knowledge about treatment options and a values-concordant treatment decision.

A significantly greater proportion of intervention than control patients had high knowledge (60% vs 42%, P <.001) and reported feeling prepared for decision making (45% vs 32%, P <.01). After adjusting for age, education, race, stage, and clinical site, the intervention arm had 2.2-fold and 1.5-fold increased odds of high knowledge about treatment options and preparation for decision making, respectively, than the control patients.

“Results suggest that interactive tools delivered in the context of surgical decision making hold promise for helping patients with the treatment decision process,” Dr Hawley said. “Future work to integrate tools into the clinical workflow is needed to support informed and shared decision making.”

Read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor‘s coverage of the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting by visiting the conference page.


1. Hawley ST, An LC, Li Y, et al. Primary outcomes analysis of a multicenter randomized controlled trial of an interactive decision tool for patients with breast cancer. Oral presentation at: 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting; June 2-6, 2017; Chicago, IL.