Impact of a decision aid about stratified ovarian cancer risk-management on women’s knowledge and intentions: a randomised online experimental survey study
BMC Public Health
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Background: Risk stratification using genetic and other types of personal information could improve current best available approaches to ovarian cancer risk reduction, improving identification of women at increased risk of ovarian cancer and reducing unnecessary interventions for women at lower risk. Amounts of information given to women may influence key informed decision-related outcomes, e.g. knowledge. The primary aim of this study was to compare informed decision-related outcomes between women given one of two versions (gist vs. extended) of a decision aid about stratified ovarian cancer risk-management. Methods: This was an experimental survey study comparing the effects of brief (gist) information with lengthier, more detailed (extended) information on cognitions relevant to informed decision-making about participating in risk-stratified ovarian cancer screening. Women with no personal history of ovarian cancer were recruited through an online survey company and randomised to view the gist (n = 512) or extended (n = 519) version of a websitebased decision aid and completed an online survey. Primary outcomes were knowledge and intentions. Secondary outcomes included attitudes (values) and decisional conflict. Results: There were no significant differences between the gist and extended conditions in knowledge about ovarian cancer (time*group interaction: F = 0.20, p = 0.66) or intention to participate in ovarian cancer screening based on genetic risk assessment (t(1029) = 0.43, p = 0.67). There were also no between-groups differences in secondary outcomes. In the sample overall (n = 1031), knowledge about ovarian cancer increased from before to after exposure to the decision aid (from 5.71 to 6.77 out of a possible 10: t = 19.04, p < 0.001), and 74% of participants said that they would participate in ovarian cancer screening based on genetic risk assessment. Conclusions: No differences in knowledge or intentions were found between women who viewed the gist version and women who viewed the extended version of a decision aid about risk-stratified ovarian cancer screening. Knowledge increased for women in both decision aid groups. Further research is needed to determine the ideal volume and type of content for decision aids about stratified ovarian cancer risk-management. Trial registrations: This study was registered with the ISRCTN registry; registration number: ISRCTN48627877.