Shared decision making in oncology: A model based on patients', health care professionals', and researchers' views

Hanna Bomhof-Roordink, Maarten J. Fischer, Nanny van Duijn-Bakker, Monique C. Baas-Thijssen, Trudy van der Weijden, Anne M. Stiggelbout, Arwen H. Pieterse*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective To construct a model of shared decision making (SDM) about cancer treatment by conducting an extensive consultation of stakeholders, informed by the literature. Methods We interviewed 76 stakeholders: cancer patients, potential future patients, oncologists, nurses, and SDM-researchers. We asked, "If I say 'Doctors and patients making decisions together about cancer treatment,' what does this make you think about?" Ideas were further solicited by presenting 19 cards each describing a possible SDM element. Interviews were inductively coded and analysed, and the emerging themes were integrated into a model. Results The model that was based on participants' views assigns specific roles in SDM to both oncologists and patients. Oncologists determine possible treatments, emphasise the importance of patients' opinion, explain treatment options, get to know patients, guide patients, and provide treatment recommendations. Patients ask questions, express thoughts and feelings, consider options, offer opinions, and decide or delegate decisions to oncologists. Outside consultations, patients search for information, prepare questions, and consider options. Conclusions Next to oncologists' role, cancer patients also have a clear role in SDM about cancer treatment, during and outside consultations. Patients should receive the support they need to fulfil this requirement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-146
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • cancer
  • interviews
  • model
  • oncology
  • perspectives
  • SDM
  • shared decision making
  • stakeholders
  • treatment decision making
  • views

Cite this