Patients who participate in treatment decisions feel empowered, are more satisfied with their care and are more likely to look after their health and wellbeing. However, being actively engaged in decision making can be difficult in complex health conditions, like myeloma, where there are multiple factors and treatment options to consider. As a result, patients could benefit from extra support and tools to make it easier to understand and navigate their treatment options.

To find new ways to facilitate shared decision making, Myeloma UK funded a research project to find out if an app, The ChoiceApp©, could help UK patients with their treatment decisions.

The ChoiceApp© (Apple,  Android) was designed and developed by Community and Patient Preference Research (CaPPre) to help myeloma patients express their preferences and priorities.

Within the app, patients review options and answer questions relating to treatments and care. This generates a report that outlines the patient’s preferences and what is most important to them.

As part of the project, the app was shared with small groups of myeloma patients and haematologists to assess whether this approach could benefit UK myeloma patients.

Overall, myeloma patients and haematologists liked the way the ChoiceApp© was designed and felt it was easy to use. The majority felt the app could support treatment decision making during consultations and felt it was a good way of sharing their preferences. However, more information about side effects, patients’ experiences, and the complexities of myeloma was needed before the app could be used routinely in the UK.

CaPPRe is now exploring ways to improve and further develop the ChoiceApp©. You can get involved or find out more about the app by contacting CaPPre.

This project is supported by funding from Novartis.