Blog: JIPPA – Joint Implementation Prostate cancer Patient-centred care

Improving prostate cancer treatment decision making

Every day about 40 Dutch men are diagnosed with prostate cancer. Many are soon confronted with treatment decision making. Treatments available show similar long-term survival rates but come with different risk profiles concerning side effects. Moreover, treatment may not even be necessary as prostate cancer often develops very slowly.

Decision aids have proven to help patients choose the alternative that suits their personal preferences and characteristics best. Moreover, it facilitates the patient to take a more central position in the decision making process so that it can actually be a shared decision between patient and doctor. Extensive research is available on the merits of patient decision aids, but the route to structural implementation in daily clinical practice has not been found yet.

To stimulate this routine use of decision aids in prostate cancer decision making, health insurer CZ has brought Tilburg University, Radboud UMC and VUmc together to join forces in the JIPPA-initiative. More than 40 Dutch hospitals are involved of which many now apply decision aids in the decision making process. Preliminary results show that the urologists involved actively use the decision aid in their daily practice, and their patients give positive feedback; 83% indicated that the added value was “high” or “very high” compared to the other information received. With the results of our implementation-study we can make recommendations to the professional guidelines on the use of decision aids and develop a central portal for decision aids that is freely available for use in healthcare.