Patient decision aid for contralateral prophylactic mastectomy for use in the consultation: a feasibility study

J. E. Squires, D. Stacey, M. Coughlin, M. Greenough, A. Roberts, K. Dorrance, M. Clemons, J.M. Caudrelier, I. D. Graham, J. Zhang, M. Demery Varin, A. Arnaout


Background Rates of contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (cpm) continue to rise internationally despite evidence-based guidance strongly discouraging its use in most women with unilateral breast cancer. The purpose of the present study was to develop and assess the feasibility of a knowledge translation tool [a patient decision aid (da)] designed to enhance evidence-informed shared decision-making about cpm.

Methods A consultation da was developed using the Ottawa Patient Decision Aid Development eTraining in consultation with clinicians and knowledge translation experts. The final da was then assessed for feasibility with health care professionals and patients across Canada. The assessment involved a survey completed online (health care professionals) or by telephone (patients). Survey data were analyzed using descriptive statistics for closed-ended questions and qualitative content analysis for open-ended questions.

Results The 51 participants who completed the survey included 39 health care professionals and 12 patients. The da was acceptable; 88% of participants viewed it as having the right amount of information or slightly more or less information than they would like. Almost all participants (98%) felt that the da would prepare patients to make better decisions. The aid was perceived to be usable, with 73% of participants stating that they would be willing to use or share the da.

Conclusions The cpm patient da developed for the present study was viewed by health care professionals and patients across Canada to be acceptable and usable during the clinical consultation. It holds promise as a knowledge translation tool to be used by clinicians in consultation with women who have unilateral breast cancer to enhance evidence-informed and shared decision-making with respect to undergoing cpm.


Contralateral prophylactic mastectomy; unilateral breast cancer; decision aids; shared decision-making; evidence-informed care


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ISSN: 1198-0052 (Print) ISSN: 1718-7729 (Online)