OBJECTIVES: Surgery and stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) are both curative treatment options for patients with stage I non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Shared decision making (SDM) has been advocated in this patient group. This study explored clinician decision making in relation to the stated treatment preferences of patients.
METHODS: In a previous study, we conducted a binary choice experiment with hypothetical cases among 126 clinicians. Secondary data analysis was performed using multilevel logistic regression models, in which random differences between clinicians' decisions were taken into account. We analyzed the influence of patient- and clinician-related characteristics, and uncertainty as experienced by clinicians about their recommendation on the clinician's decision (either in line with the patient's preference or not).
RESULTS: Significant interactions were observed between patient- and clinician-related characteristics, indicating that patient preferences were selectively taken into account, depending on clinicians' specialty, their views about the comparability of cancer-related outcomes following surgery and SABR, and the degree of uncertainty about the treatment recommendation.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that SDM for stage I NSCLC care is largely influenced by how clinicians weigh available scientific evidence.
PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Clinicians should involve lung cancer patients more and ask for their preferences in making treatment recommendations.