BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making (2021-03-01)

Evaluation of a shared decision-making strategy with online decision aids in surgical and orthopaedic practice: study protocol for the E-valuAID, a multicentre study with a stepped-wedge design

  • Floris M. Thunnissen,
  • Bernhard W. Schreurs,
  • Carmen S. S. Latenstein,
  • Marjan J. Meinders,
  • Eddy M. Adang,
  • Glyn Elwyn,
  • Doeke Boersma,
  • Bas Bosmans,
  • Koop Bosscha,
  • Bastiaan L. Ginsel,
  • Eric J. Hazebroek,
  • Jeroen J. Nieuwenhuis,
  • Maarten Staarink,
  • Dries Verhallen,
  • Marc L. Wagener,
  • Femke Atsma,
  • Philip R. de Reuver

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 21, no. 1
pp. 1 – 10


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Abstract Background Inguinal hernia repair, gallbladder removal, and knee- and hip replacements are the most commonly performed surgical procedures, but all are subject to practice variation and variable patient-reported outcomes. Shared decision-making (SDM) has the potential to reduce surgery rates and increase patient satisfaction. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of an SDM strategy with online decision aids for surgical and orthopaedic practice in terms of impact on surgery rates, patient-reported outcomes, and cost-effectiveness. Methods The E-valuAID-study is designed as a multicentre, non-randomized stepped-wedge study in patients with an inguinal hernia, gallstones, knee or hip osteoarthritis in six surgical and six orthopaedic departments. The primary outcome is the surgery rate before and after implementation of the SDM strategy. Secondary outcomes are patient-reported outcomes and cost-effectiveness. Patients in the usual care cluster prior to implementation of the SDM strategy will be treated in accordance with the best available clinical evidence, physician’s knowledge and preference and the patient’s preference. The intervention consists of the implementation of the SDM strategy and provision of disease-specific online decision aids. Decision aids will be provided to the patients before the consultation in which treatment decision is made. During this consultation, treatment preferences are discussed, and the final treatment decision is confirmed. Surgery rates will be extracted from hospital files. Secondary outcomes will be evaluated using questionnaires, at baseline, 3 and 6 months. Discussion The E-valuAID-study will examine the cost-effectiveness of an SDM strategy with online decision aids in patients with an inguinal hernia, gallstones, knee or hip osteoarthritis. This study will show whether decision aids reduce operation rates while improving patient-reported outcomes. We hypothesize that the SDM strategy will lead to lower surgery rates, better patient-reported outcomes, and be cost-effective. Trial registration: The Netherlands Trial Register, Trial NL8318, registered 22 January 2020. URL: .