Evaluator-blinded trial evaluating nurse-led immunotherapy DEcision Coaching In persons with relapsing-remitting Multiple Sclerosis (DECIMS) and accompanying process evaluation: Study protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial
AuthorRahn, Anne Christin; Köpke, Sascha; Kasper, Jürgen; Vettorazzi, Eik; Muhlhauser, Ingrid; Heesen, Christoph
Methods/Design: The decision coaching programme will be evaluated through an evaluator-blinded superiority cluster randomised controlled trial, including 300 patients with suspected or definite relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, facing an immunotherapy decision. The clusters are 12 multiple sclerosis outpatient clinics in Germany. Further, the trial will be accompanied by a mixed-methods process evaluation and a cost-effectiveness study. Nurses in the intervention group will be trained in shared decision-making, coaching, and evidence-based patient information principles. Patients who meet the inclusion criteria will receive decision coaching (intervention group) with up to three face-to-face coaching sessions with a trained nurse (decision coach) or counselling as usual (control group). Patients in both groups will be given access to an evidence-based online information tool. The primary outcome is ‘informed choice’ after six months, assessed with the multi-dimensional measure of informed choice including the sub-dimensions risk knowledge (questionnaire), attitude concerning immunotherapy (questionnaire), and immunotherapy uptake (telephone survey). Secondary outcomes include decisional conflict, adherence to immunotherapy decisions, autonomy preference, planned behaviour, coping self-efficacy, and perceived involvement in coaching and decisional encounters. Safety outcomes are comprised of anxiety and depression and disease-specific quality of life.
Discussion: This trial will assess the effectiveness of a new model of patient decision support concerning MS-immunotherapy options. The delegation of treatment information provision from physicians to trained nurses bears the potential to change current doctor-focused practice in Germany.