PARTNER-project: A model and tools to support shared decision making in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) treatment

BJH - volume 12, issue 7, november 2021

A. Van Hecke PhD, L. Sillis PharmD, V. Foulon PhD, PharmD


Treatment options for multiple myeloma have increased substantially. To find the best therapy for each individual patient, patient preferences should be taken into account whenever a decision regarding relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) treatment has to be made. Shared decision-making (SDM) is one of the keys to person-centred care. Previous research, using semi-structured interviews, investigated the experiences and preferences of Belgian RRMM patients and their carers regarding involvement in decisions related to treatments. The aim of this part of the PARTNER-project was to develop a model and tools to support the implementation of SDM in RRMM treatment.

The practice model for SDM and the proof of concepts of the tools were developed using a 2-phase co-design approach. First, results from the interviews were combined with data from the literature to draft the model and tools. In the second phase, meetings with expert panels were set up to discuss the model and tools and to adapt them according to the feedback.

The PARTNER model for SDM in RRMM that has been developed as part of this project is a conceptual framework, describing essential elements in the decision-making process. Four tools were designed to convert the model into practice. It concerns 1) a question prompt list, to be used by patients to prepare for consultations with clinicians; 2) knowledge clips for patients and healthcare professionals (HCPs) to enhance the understanding of the SDM concept; 3) a conversation starter, aimed to open the dialogue among HCPs about organising and implementing SDM; and 4) a conversation tool, which is a hands-on step-by-step guide for conversations about treatment options between HCPs and RRMM patients. Additionally, suggestions on dissemination strategies were formulated.

Efforts were made to enhance a fit of the PARTNER model and tools into the Belgian RRMM setting. For some of the tools, evidence was provided on the improvement of the decision-making process, but none of the tools were yet tested. Further research should focus on pilot testing and evaluating the tools regarding their impact and feasibility to support SDM.

(BELG J HEMATOL 2021;12(7):305–17)

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