Evaluating Adaptation of a Cancer Clinical Trial Decision Aid for Rural Cancer Patients: A Mixed-Methods Approach

Swati Pathak, Nerissa George, Denise Monti, Kathy Robinson, Mary C. Politi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Rural-residing cancer patients often do not participate in clinical trials. Many patients misunderstand cancer clinical trials and their rights as participant. The purpose of this study is to modify a previously developed cancer clinical trials decision aid (DA), incorporating the unique needs of rural populations, and test its impact on knowledge and decision outcomes. The study was conducted in two phases. Phase I recruited 15 rural-residing cancer survivors in a qualitative usability study. Participants navigated the original DA and provided feedback regarding usability and implementation in rural settings. Phase II recruited 31 newly diagnosed rural-residing cancer patients. Patients completed a survey before and after using the revised DA, R-CHOICES. Primary outcomes included decisional conflict, decision self-efficacy, knowledge, communication self-efficacy, and attitudes towards and willingness to consider joining a trial. In phase I, the DA was viewed positively by rural-residing cancer survivors. Participants provided important feedback about factors rural-residing patients consider when thinking about trial participation. In phase II, after using R-CHOICES, participants had higher certainty about their choice (mean post-test = 3.10 vs. pre-test = 2.67; P = 0.025) and higher trial knowledge (mean percentage correct at post-test = 73.58 vs. pre-test = 57.77; P < 0.001). There was no significant change in decision self-efficacy, communication self-efficacy, and attitudes towards or willingness to join trials. The R-CHOICES improved rural-residing patients’ knowledge of cancer clinical trials and reduced conflict about making a trial decision. More research is needed on ways to further support decisions about trial participation among this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)803-809
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 15 2019


  • Cancer clinical trial
  • Decision aid
  • Rural health


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