Individuals are increasingly more interested and involved in decisions about their own health care. Shared decision making (SDM), with their health care providers is the primary and indispensable method for informing patients and involving them in their health care. However, SDM cannot bear the entire burden for informing and involving individuals. With the ever increasing number and complexity of diagnostic procedures, evaluation tools and treatment options coupled with the ever decreasing shared visitation time, the need for additional patient education and support has never been greater. Population oriented interventions to promote informed decision making (IDM) can be effective for this purpose.The North Texas area has an abundance of Education and Support groups sponsored by the various medical institutions. These groups meet at monthly events and provide information and peer support in a full range of general subjects presented by medical professionals.
To further promote patient IDM, the North Texas Prostate Cancer Coalition has instituted the “Let’s Talk on Tuesday … About Prostate Cancer” (“LToT”) Survivor Chat program to focus on specific survivor cohorts to provide basic information relative to their immediate needs. The LToT chat covers issues for newly diagnosed men, men after treatment and men recurring after initial treatment. Though currently limited to one location, we hope to expand this program to other locations.
The main function of dyadic intervention is to listen to concerns and questions of attending men and their partners and help find answers to those questions and concerns. Sharing information based on their own treatment and side effect experience is an important part of the exchange. The information exchange is done either by phone (LTS list) or at face-to-face sessions at the survivor chat program (“Let’s Talk Tuesday … about Prostate Cancer”). The conversation will usually be limited to very basic factual information and treatment experience by the LTS member. Professionals should be consulted for all medical, legal or other advice.