Journal of Cancer Education

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 238–245 | Cite as

A Review of Shared Decision-Making and Patient Decision Aids in Radiation Oncology

  • Kristina Demas Woodhouse
  • Katie Tremont
  • Anil Vachani
  • Marilyn M. Schapira
  • Neha Vapiwala
  • Charles B. SimoneII
  • Abigail T. Berman


Cancer treatment decisions are complex and may be challenging for patients, as multiple treatment options can often be reasonably considered. As a result, decisional support tools have been developed to assist patients in the decision-making process. A commonly used intervention to facilitate shared decision-making is a decision aid, which provides evidence-based outcomes information and guides patients towards choosing the treatment option that best aligns with their preferences and values. To ensure high quality, systematic frameworks and standards have been proposed for the development of an optimal aid for decision making. Studies have examined the impact of these tools on facilitating treatment decisions and improving decision-related outcomes. In radiation oncology, randomized controlled trials have demonstrated that decision aids have the potential to improve patient outcomes, including increased knowledge about treatment options and decreased decisional conflict with decision-making. This article provides an overview of the shared-decision making process and summarizes the development, validation, and implementation of decision aids as patient educational tools in radiation oncology. Finally, this article reviews the findings from decision aid studies in radiation oncology and offers various strategies to effectively implement shared decision-making into clinical practice.


Shared decision-making Patient decision aids Radiation oncology 


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Copyright information

© American Association for Cancer Education 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristina Demas Woodhouse
    • 1
  • Katie Tremont
    • 1
  • Anil Vachani
    • 2
  • Marilyn M. Schapira
    • 3
  • Neha Vapiwala
    • 1
  • Charles B. SimoneII
    • 1
  • Abigail T. Berman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Radiation OncologyPerelman School of Medicine at the University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care DivisionUniversity of Pennsylvania School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Division of General Internal MedicineUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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