Improving shared decision-making in chronic lymphocytic leukemia through multidisciplinary education

Gabrielle B. Rocque, Courtney P. Williams, Karina I. Halilova, Uma Borate, Bradford E. Jackson, Emily S. Van Laar, Maria Pisu, Thomas W. Butler, Randall S. Davis, Amitkumar Mehta, Sara J. Knight, Monika M. Safford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


New treatments for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) with excellent response rates and varying toxicity profiles have emerged in recent years, creating an opportunity for a patient's personal preferences to contribute to treatment decisions. We conducted a prospective, quasi-experimental pre- and post-evaluation of a multilevel educational program and its impact on knowledge of CLL and shared decision-making (SDM). We educated patients, lay navigators, nurses/advanced practice providers (APPs), and physicians. Patients were evaluated for change in patient activation, distress, desired role in decision-making, perception of decision-making, satisfaction with oncologist explanation of treatment choice, and knowledge of CLL. Lay navigators, nurses/APPs, and physicians were evaluated for change in CLL knowledge and perception of decision-making. Forty-four patients, 33 lay navigators, 27 nurses/APPs, and 27 physicians participated in the educational program. We observed trends toward improved patient activation, with 68% before education versus 76% after education reporting a Patient Activation Measure (PAM) score of 3 or 4. The percentage of patients desiring and perceiving SDM trended upward from 47% to 67% and from 35% to 49%, respectively. The percentage of patients understanding that CLL is incurable increased from 80% to 90%, as did reporting awareness of signs of progression (64% to 76%). Patients' satisfaction with their oncologists' explanations of therapy increased significantly from 83% to 95% (p =.03). CLL knowledge increased after education for lay navigators (36% vs 63%) and nurses/APPs (35% vs 69%), and remained high for physicians (85% vs 87%). Nurses/APPs and physicians perceived at least some patient involvement in decision-making at baseline, whereas 12% of patients and 23% of lay navigators perceived that physicians made decisions independently. This project demonstrated trends toward improvements in patient engagement, prognostic awareness, knowledge of signs of progression, and SDM. These promising findings should be tested in larger samples. There remains an opportunity for further improvement in SDM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-182
Number of pages8
JournalTranslational behavioral medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018


  • Cancer network
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • Multidisciplinary education
  • Quality improvement
  • Shared decision-making

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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