A ‘navigator’ who helps patients plan consultation questions can help people share in treatment decisions and feel more confident about the decisions they make.
In Scotland, researchers explored whether decision navigation increased men’s confidence in decisions about prostate cancer treatment. Two hundred and eighty-nine men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer were randomly assigned to receive usual care or navigation whereby a ‘navigator’ helped the patient create a personal question list for a consultation and provided a CD and typed summary of the consultation to patients, the GP and the specialist. The navigator was associated with more confidence in decisions among men and less regret about their decisions. Increased confidence remained after six months. There was no impact on mood or adjustment.
Compared to control patients, navigated patients were more confident in making decisions about cancer treatment, were more certain they had made the right decision after the consultation and had less regret about their decision 6 months later. Decision navigation was feasible, acceptable and effective for newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients in Scotland.
Hacking B, Wallace L, Scott S, Kosmala-Anderson J, Belkora J, McNeill A. Testing the feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of a ‘decision navigation’ intervention for early stage prostate cancer patients in Scotland – a randomised controlled trial. Psycho-Oncology. 2013 May;22(5):1017-1024.