Development of a web-based, patient-centered decision aid for oropharyngeal cancer treatment

Elaine O. Bigelow, Melina J. Windon, Carole Fakhry, Ana P. Kiess, Tanguy Seiwert, Gypsyamber D'Souza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objectives: Many patients diagnosed with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) have the option of radiation- or surgery-based therapy, and would benefit from a treatment decision aid (DA) to make decisions congruent with their personal values. Our objective was to develop a patient-centered DA for patients with OPSCC that is comprehensible, usable, acceptable, and well-designed. Materials and Methods: Decisional needs from a pilot study of OPSCC survivors and treating physicians were used to inform a web-based prototype DA. A multidisciplinary steering group developed and iteratively revised the DA. Feasibility testing was conducted in two cycles to assess perspectives of stakeholders (medical, radiation and surgical oncologists, patient education experts, and OPSCC survivors). Survey data and open-ended responses were used to evaluate and refine the DA. Results: 16 physicians, 4 patient education experts, and 6 survivors of OPSCC evaluated a web-based DA prototype in two cycles of testing. Participant feedback was used to revise the DA content and design between cycles. The majority of participants across both cycles indicated that the DA was comprehensible (97%), usable (86%), acceptable (78%), and well-designed (93%). Approximately three quarters of respondents indicated that they would use or share the DA in clinical practice. Conclusion: We developed the first patient-centered treatment decision aid (DA) designed for patients with OPSCC, to our knowledge. The DA was perceived favorably by stakeholders, with more than three quarters of respondents indicating they would use it in clinical practice. This tool may improve clinical practice as an adjunct to shared decision-making for OPSCC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105618
JournalOral Oncology
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Communication
  • Decision-making
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Oropharyngeal cancer
  • Patient-centered care
  • Qualitative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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