Development of a patient decision aid for patients with breast cancer who consider immediate breast reconstruction after mastectomy

J.A. ter Stege, D.B. Raphael, H.S.A. Oldenburg, M.A. van Huizum, F.H. van Duijnhoven, D.E.E. Hahn, R. The, K. Karssen, E.M.L. Corten, I.S. Krabbe-Timmerman, M. Huikeshoven, Q.P.Q. Ruhe, N.A.N. Kimmings, W. Maarse, K.A. Sherman, A.J. Witkamp, L.A.E. Woerdeman, E.M.A. Bleiker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose The aim of this study was to develop a patient decision aid (pDA) that could support patients with breast cancer (BC) in making an informed decision about breast reconstruction (BR) after mastectomy. Methods The development included four stages: (i) Establishment of a multidisciplinary team; (ii) Needs assessment consisting of semi-structured interviews in patients and a survey among healthcare professionals (HCPs); (iii) Creation of content, design and technical system; and (iv) Acceptability and usability testing using a think-aloud approach in patients and interviews among HCPs and representatives of the Dutch Breast Cancer Patient Organization. Results From the needs assessment, three themes were identified: Challenging period to make a decision, Diverse motivations for a personal decision and Information needed to make a decision about BR. HCPs valued the development of a pDA, especially to prepare patients for consultation. The pDA that was developed contained three parts: first, a consultation sheet for oncological breast surgeons to introduce the choice; second, an online tool including an overview of reconstructive options, the pros and cons of each option, information on the consequences of each option for daily life, exercises to clarify personal values and patient stories; and third, a summary sheet with patients' values, preferences and questions to help inform and guide the discussion between the patient and her plastic surgeon. The pDA was perceived to be informative, helpful and easy to use by patients and HCPs. Conclusion Consistent with information needs, a pDA was developed to support patients with BC who consider immediate BR in making an informed decision together with their plastic surgeon. Patient or Public Contribution Patients participated in the needs assessment and in acceptability and usability testing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-244
Number of pages13
JournalHealth Expectations
Issue number1
Early online date28 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • breast cancer
  • immediate breast reconstruction
  • information needs
  • patient decision aid


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