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IPD: Inform • Prepare • Decide

Shared Decision Making; Designing for Cancer Care

Author: Siemon van Opstal (2018)

Supervisory team: Marijke Melles (mentor), Huib de Ridder (mentor), Gijs Geleijnse (mentor)

Partners: Amsterdam UMC, TU Delft

Shared decision making (SDM) is currently being advocated by both healthcare professionals and patients as the ideal for decision making (Stiggelbout, Pieterse, & De Haes, 2015). However, difficulties of implementing SDM also apply to adjuvant chemotherapy treatment decisions regarding patients with colon cancer. This decision-making moment occurs after surgery when the pTNM-classification (UICC, 2010) shows a certain value that suggests whether adjuvant chemotherapy is applicable. 

Different research methodologies like literature research, semi-structured interviews and observations were performed to obtain the understanding of the current decision-making procedure concerning adjuvant chemotherapy for colon cancer patients. The obtained insights were used to create the patient physician experience journey, leading to the design goal:

“Create a User Interface for a web application that ensures that both patient and physician are aware of the different possible treatment options, understand what these treatment options involve concerning risks, treatment options and possible outcome, according to the principles of risk communication, and that interaction can take place, so that the preferences and values of both patient and physician can be shared, to support the process of SDM concerning adjuvant chemotherapy for colon cancer patients”. 



The IPD allows the patient to find general information about adjuvant chemotherapy, and triggers the patient to think about their preferences and values concerning quality of life, which can be scored and communicated with the treating physicians. Added to that, the patient and physician are both enabled to gain insights from prediction information about life expectancy, are both aware of the same amount of information and understand this. When patients are more involved in making treatment decisions based on the process of SDM, it may positively influence the patient experience, leading to a better quality of life of the patient. When the quality of life of the patient is improved due to the provided care, it can be said that the quality of care has also improved.

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