Cocreation with Dutch patients of decision-relevant information to support shared decision-making about adjuvant treatment in breast cancer care

Inge van Strien-Knippenberg, Marieke Boshuizen, Domino Determann, Jasmijn de Boer, OC Damman

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


To support patients in shared decision-making about treatment options, patient decision aids (PtDAs) usually provide benefit/harm information and value clarification methods (VCMs). Recently, personalized risk information from prediction models is also being integrated into PtDAs. This study aimed to design decision-relevant information (i.e., personalized survival rates, harm information and VCMs) about adjuvant breast cancer treatment in cocreation with patients, in a way that suits their needs and is easily understandable.

Three cocreation sessions with breast cancer patients (N = 7–10; of whom N = 5 low health literate) were performed. Participants completed creative assignments and evaluated prototypes of benefit/harm information and VCMs. Prototypes were further explored through user testing with patients (N = 10) and healthcare providers (N = 10). The researchers interpreted the collected data, for example, creative and homework assignments, and participants' presentations, to identify key themes. User tests were transcribed and analysed using ATLAS.ti to assess the understanding of the prototypes.

Important information needs were: (a) need for overview/structure of information directly after diagnosis and; (b) need for transparent benefit/harm information for all treatment options, including detailed harm information. Regarding VCMs, patients stressed the importance of a summary/conclusion. A bar graph seemed the most appropriate way of displaying personalized survival rates; the impact of most other formats was perceived as too distressful. The concept of ‘personalization’ was not understood by multiple patients.

A PtDA about adjuvant breast cancer treatment should provide patients with an overview of the steps and treatment options, with layers for detailed information. Transparent information about the likelihood of benefits and harm should be provided. Given the current lack of information on the likelihood of side effects/late effects, efforts should be made to collect and share these data with patients. Further quantitative studies are needed to validate the results and to investigate how the concept of ‘personalization’ can be communicated.

Patient or Public Contribution
Ten breast cancer patients participated in three cocreation sessions to develop decision-relevant information. Subsequent user testing included 10 patients. The Dutch Breast Cancer Association (BVN) was involved as an advisor in the general study design.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHealth expectations
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2022


  • breast cancer, cocreation, health literacy, personalized information, risk communication, shareddecision‐making

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