Background: The effectiveness of patient decision aids (PtDA) is rarely evaluated in the “real world” where patients vary in their preferences related to decision support.
Purpose: To determine how Canadian patients use and evaluate our widely available PtDA for early-stage prostate cancer treatment with its 8 components.
Methods: Google Analytics and online tracking provided usage information. A Usability Assessment (UA) following the PtDA provided evaluation data; main outcomes [scale: 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree)] were (a) the aid was helpful, and (b) I would recommend it to other patients.
Results: Usage data were from 993 users, and UAs from 168 of them. Mean “helpfulness” score was 4.1(5 max); mean “recommend” score was 4.2 (5 max). For each PtDA component, there was no significant difference on each main outcome, between those who used it and those who did not.
Conclusion: Overall, patients who completed the UA rated the PtDA as helpful and would recommend it to other patients. The widely available PtDA accommodated expected variation in decision support desired, and helpfulness was not associated with variation in components used.
Practice implication: The internet can be an effective medium for making appropriately designed decision support widely available to prostate cancer patients.