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The Need for Brevity During Shared Decision Making (SDM) for Cancer Screening: Veterans' Perspectives on an "Everyday SDM" Compromise.

Caverly TJ, Skurla SE, Robinson CH, Zikmund-Fisher BJ, Hayward RA. The Need for Brevity During Shared Decision Making (SDM) for Cancer Screening: Veterans' Perspectives on an "Everyday SDM" Compromise. MDM policy & practice. 2021 Oct 26; 6(2):23814683211055120.

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Detailed or "full" shared decision making (SDM) about cancer screening is difficult in the primary care setting. Time spent discussing cancer screening is time not spent on other important issues. Given time constraints, brief SDM that is incomplete but addresses key elements may be feasible and acceptable. However, little is known about how patients feel about abbreviated SDM. This study assessed patient perspectives on a compromise solution ("everyday SDM"): 1) primary care provided makes a tailored recommendation, 2) briefly presents qualitative information on key tradeoffs, and 3) conveys full support for decisional autonomy and desires for more information. We recruited a stratified random sample of Veterans from an academic Veterans Affairs medical center who were eligible for lung cancer screening, oversampling women and minority patients, to attend a 6-hour deliberative focus group. Experts informed participants about cancer screening, factors that influence screening benefits, and the role of patient preferences. Then, facilitator-led small groups elicited patient questions and informed opinions about the everyday SDM proposal, its acceptability, and their recommendations for improvement. Thirty-six Veterans with a heavy smoking history participated (50% male, 83% white). There was a strong consensus that everyday SDM was acceptable patients were the final deciders and could get more information on request. Participants broadly recommended that clinicians only mention downsides directly related to screening and avoid discussion of potential downstream harms (such as biopsies). Although further testing in more diverse populations and different conditions is needed, these patients found the everyday SDM approach to be acceptable for routine lung cancer screening discussions, despite its use of an explicit recommendation and presentation of only qualitative information.

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