The availability and effectiveness of tools supporting shared decision making in metastatic breast cancer care: a review

Inge Spronk*, Jako S. Burgers, Francois G. Schellevis, Liesbeth M. van Vliet, Joke C. Korevaar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review


Background: Shared decision-making (SDM) in the management of metastatic breast cancer care is associated with positive patient outcomes. In daily clinical practice, however, SDM is not fully integrated yet. Initiatives to improve the implementation of SDM would be helpful. The aim of this review was to assess the availability and effectiveness of tools supporting SDM in metastatic breast cancer care. Methods: Literature databases were systematically searched for articles published since 2006 focusing on the development or evaluation of tools to improve information-provision and to support decision-making in metastatic breast cancer care. Internet searches and experts identified additional tools. Data from included tools were extracted and the evaluation of tools was appraised using the GRADE grading system. Results: The literature search yielded five instruments. In addition, two tools were identified via internet searches and consultation of experts. Four tools were specifically developed for supporting SDM in metastatic breast cancer, the other three tools focused on metastatic cancer in general. Tools were mainly applicable across the care process, and usable for decisions on supportive care with or without chemotherapy. All tools were designed for patients to be used before a consultation with the physician. Effects on patient outcomes were generally weakly positive although most tools were not studied in well-designed studies. Conclusions: Despite its recognized importance, only two tools were positively evaluated on effectiveness and are available to support patients with metastatic breast cancer in SDM. These tools show promising results in pilot studies and focus on different aspects of care. However, their effectiveness should be confirmed in well-designed studies before implementation in clinical practice. Innovation and development of SDM tools targeting clinicians as well as patients during a clinical encounter is recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Article number74
Number of pages8
JournalBMC Palliative Care
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2018


  • Shared decision making
  • Metastatic breast cancer
  • Decision aid
  • AIDS

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