Healthcare providers and patients use shared decision-making (SDM) to consider available clinical evidence and patients’ values or preferences to achieve optimal care and outcomes. However, despite the fact that multiple myeloma (MM) is a particularly complex disease to manage, treatment guidelines do not offer patient-specific treatment recommendations for individual patients. 

“Patient-provider collaboration in treatment decision-making is a particularly important aspect of optimal MM care,” said ONS member Joseph D. Tariman, PhD, ANP-BC, DePaul University, Chicago, IL. Tariman discussed SDM and MM on behalf of colleagues on Saturday, December 3, at the 58th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Diego, CA. 

Study authors investigated whether continuing medical education (CME) programming could assist physicians and other care providers in using latest clinical data concurrently with the patient preferences in the decision-making process.

In July 2015, a CME-certified, video-based educational curriculum was offered to 1,253 participants through the Clinical Care Options website—most participants (64%) were physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants, and 7% were nurses. The curriculum covered SDM concepts, as well as an overview of the clinical data and treatment guidelines essential to best-practice treatment decisions for patients with MM. 

Participants answered a series of three baseline questions before the program and again post-education. 

Study authors found that only 24% of program participants said they would account for patient preferences as part of the decision-making process; that percentage rose to 69% after the program had been completed. When asked to consider available data concurrently with patient preferences while deciding treatment for patients with MM, 51% of participants at baseline chose treatment courses that matched expert recommendations; this number rose to 90% after the program. Similarly, when questioned on the management of treatment-related adverse events, at baseline, 47% of participants chose the optimal response; again, this percentage increased to 90% after education. 

When asked how many of their patients would likely benefit from the caregivers’ participation in the program, the results totaled 7,993 patients.

“These data strongly suggest that CME programs focused on SDM can help prepare providers to consider patient preferences along with the available clinical data to make treatment decisions most likely to result in outcomes that matter most to their patients,” Tariman said.