OBJECTIVE: To develop and user test a patient decision aid for people with subacromial pain syndrome that presents evidence-based information on the benefits and harms of subacromial decompression surgery and rotator cuff repair surgery.
DESIGN: Mixed-methods study outlining the development of a patient decision aid.
SETTING: We assembled a multidisciplinary steering group, and used existing decision aids and decision science to draft the decision aid. Participants were recruited through social media (not restricted by country nor setting), local hospitals and the authors' collaboration network.
PARTICIPANTS: People with shoulder pain and health professionals who manage people with shoulder pain.
PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOMES: We interviewed participants to gather feedback on the decision aid, assessed useability and acceptability (using qualitative and quantitative methods) and performed iterative cycles of redrafting the decision aid and reinterviewing participants as necessary. Interview data were analysed using thematic analysis. Quantitative data were summarised descriptively.
RESULTS: We interviewed 26 health professionals (11 physiotherapists, 7 orthopaedic surgeons, 4 general practitioners, 3 chiropractors and 1 osteopath) and 14 people with shoulder pain. Most health professionals and people with shoulder pain rated all aspects of decision aid acceptability as adequate-to-excellent (eg, length, presentation, comprehensibility). Interviews highlighted agreement among health professionals and people with shoulder pain on most aspects of the decision aid (eg, treatment options, summary of benefits, harms and practical issues, questions to ask a health professional, graphics, formatting). However, some aspects of the decision aid elicited divergent views among health professionals (eg, causes and symptoms of shoulder pain, evidence on benefits and harms).
CONCLUSION: This decision aid could be an acceptable and valuable tool for helping people with subacromial pain syndrome make informed treatment choices. A randomised controlled trial evaluating whether this decision aid reduces people's intentions to undergo shoulder surgery and facilitates informed treatment choices is underway.Trial registration number ACTRN12621000992808.