March is Shared Decision Making Month
Shared decision making (SDM) is a collaborative process that allows patients and their doctors to make health care decisions together. It takes into account the clinical evidence, as well as the patient’s values and preferences. SDM helps patients get the right care at the right time.
March is SDM Month, and it’s a great time to educate and engage your members and patients about some of the most preference-sensitive decisions, like lung cancer screening, hip replacement surgery for osteoarthritis, and active surveillance for prostate cancer. For those clients who license the Healthwise Knowledgebase, try these helpful resources to help your patients understand their options, determine their values and preferences, have important conversations with their doctors, and ultimately make decisions that are right for them.
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Managing your hip osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis affects the cartilage in your joints, making it difficult to move freely due to joint pain and stiffness after you sit or lie down. Many people can manage their osteoarthritis pain with non-surgical treatments, like medicine, exercise, and physical therapy. But for some people, these treatment options may no longer be effective. If your hip pain is preventing you from doing your daily activities, you may be wondering if hip replacement surgery is right for you. Before making this decision, it’s important to understand the benefits and risks of hip replacement, as well as what to expect after surgery. Here’s an interactive tool to help you make sense of your treatment options and make an informed decision about managing your hip osteoarthritis. [Create a hyperlink to the Arthritis: Should I Have Hip Replacement Surgery Decision Point on your website. DOCHWID=uh1515]
Deciding about lung cancer screening
If you have a heavy smoking history, have smoked within the last 15 years, and are age 55 and older, you may be at high risk for lung cancer. Your doctor might recommend a low-dose CT scan to screen for lung cancer if you meet these criteria. Screening for lung cancer can help find some lung cancers early, when the cancer is more treatable. And screening with CT scans has been shown to lower the risk of dying from lung cancer in some people. But it’s important to know what lung cancer screening can and cannot tell you. The decision to screen for lung cancer is very personal. If your doctor has recommended screening for lung cancer, use this interactive guide to better understand your options and help you make a shared decision with your doctor about what’s right for you. [Create a hyperlink to the Lung Cancer: Should I Have Screening? Decision Point on your website. DOCHWID=abq5042]
To keep your breast or not
Women with early-stage breast cancer face a tough decision: have surgery to remove the breast (mastectomy), or have surgery to remove just the cancer from the breast (breast-conserving surgery), followed by radiation treatments. Studies show that there is no difference in survival rates between women who had a mastectomy versus breast-conserving surgery. Women who choose breast-conserving surgery have a slightly higher chance of the cancer coming back in the same breast, because more tissue is left behind. Women who choose mastectomy may be able to rebuild their breast with reconstructive surgery. This is a very personal decision, so it’s important to understand what is involved with each treatment option, as well as the benefits and risks. If you’ve been diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer, here’s a guide to help you understand your options and choose what feels right for you. [Create a hyperlink to the Breast Cancer: Should I Have Breast-Conserving Surgery or a Mastectomy for Early-Stage Cancer? Decision Point on your website. DOCHWID=tv6530]
Is active surveillance for prostate cancer right for you?
If you have low-risk localized prostate cancer, active surveillance may be an option for you. With active surveillance, you will be closely monitored by your doctor. Active surveillance requires regular checkups and tests to look for any changes in the cancer. Surgery or radiation would be needed only if the cancer grows. Some men might not be comfortable waiting to see whether their prostate cancer will need surgery or radiation, and might prefer one of these options from the start. If you’re curious about active surveillance, talk with your doctor about whether it’s a good choice for you. In addition to your PSA level and Gleason score, you and your doctor will want to consider your age and life expectancy, the side effects you might have from other treatments, and your personal feelings and concerns. Here’s a helpful guide to help you and your doctor decide if active surveillance is a good option for you. [Create a hyperlink to the Prostate Cancer: Should I Choose Active Surveillance? Decision Point on your website. DOCHWID=abo8743]
Deciding about vaginal birth after a past C-section
Did you know that many women can have a vaginal birth after having a previous C-section?
This is called vaginal birth after cesarean, or VBAC. Whether VBAC is a good choice for you will depend on many things, such as the reason for your past C- section, how many C-sections you’ve had, and your own values and preferences. Before making a decision, it’s important to understand the benefits and risks of VBAC, as well as the risks of a cesarean delivery. This interactive resource can help you determine your feelings about these two options and help you prepare to have a conversation with your doctor. [Create a hyperlink to the Pregnancy: Should I Try Vaginal Birth After a Past C-Section (VBAC) Decision Point on your website. DOCHWID=aa37799]
Teasers for social media (less than 140 characters)
- Having trouble managing your hip pain due to osteoarthritis? Decide if it’s time for hip replacement surgery. [Insert a shortened URL to the Arthritis: Should I Have Hip Replacement Surgery Decision Point on your website. DOCHWID=uh1515]
- Should you be screened for lung cancer? Here’s help deciding if screening is right for you. [Insert a shortened URL to the Lung Cancer: Should I Have Screening? Decision Point on your website. DOCHWID=abq5042]
- To keep your breast or not. Use this interactive guide to decide how to treat your early-stage breast cancer. [Insert a shortened URL to the Breast Cancer: Should I Have Breast-Conserving Surgery or a Mastectomy for Early-Stage Cancer? Decision Point on your website. DOCHWID=tv6530]
- Have low-risk localized prostate cancer? Here’s help deciding if active surveillance is a good choice for you. [Insert a shortened URL to the Prostate Cancer: Should I Choose Active Surveillance? Decision Point on your website. DOCHWID=abo8743]
- Pregnant? Past C-section? Use this interactive resource to decide whether to try vaginal birth this pregnancy. [Insert a shortened URL to the Pregnancy: Should I Try Vaginal Birth After a Past C-Section (VBAC) Decision Point on your website. DOCHWID=aa37799]
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