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Integrating shared decision-making into primary care: lessons learned from a multi-centre feasibility randomized controlled trial

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posted on 2022-11-02, 17:41 authored by Catherine H Yu, Farid Medleg, Dorothy Choi, Catherine M Spagnuolo, Lakmini Pinnaduwage, Sharon E Straus, Paul Cantarutti, Karen Chu, Paul Frydrych, Amy Hoang-Kim, Noah Ivers, David Kaplan, Fok-Han Leung, John Maxted, Jeremy Rezmovitz, Joanna Sale, Sumeet Sodhi, Dawn Stacey, Deanna Telner

Background: MyDiabetesPlan is a web-based, interactive patient decision aid that facilitates patient-centred, diabetes-specific, goal-setting and shared decision-making (SDM) with interprofessional health care teams.

Objective: Assess the feasibility of (1) conducting a cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) and (2) integrating MyDiabetesPlan into interprofessional primary care clinics.

Methods: We conducted a cluster RCT in 10 interprofessional primary care clinics with patients living with diabetes and at least two other comorbidities; half of the clinics were assigned to MyDiabetesPlan and half were assigned to usual care. To assess recruitment, retention, and resource use, we used RCT conduct logs and financial account summaries. To assess intervention fidelity, we used RCT conduct logs and website usage logs. To identify barriers and facilitators to integration of MyDiabetesPlan into clinical care across the IP team, we used audiotapes of clinical encounters in the intervention groups.

Results: One thousand five hundred and ninety-seven potentially eligible patients were identified through searches of electronic medical records, of which 1113 patients met the eligibility criteria upon detailed chart review. A total of 425 patients were randomly selected; of these, 213 were able to participate and were allocated (intervention: n = 102; control: n = 111), for a recruitment rate of 50.1%. One hundred and fifty-one patients completed the study, for a retention rate of 70.9%. A total of 5745 personnel-hours and $6104 CAD were attributed to recruitment and retention activities. A total of 179 appointments occurred (out of 204 expected appointments-two per participant over the 12-month study period; 87.7%). Forty (36%), 25 (23%), and 32 (29%) patients completed MyDiabetesPlan at least twice, once, and zero times, respectively. Mean time for completion of MyDiabetesPlan by the clinician and the patient during initial appointments was 37 min. From the clinical encounter transcripts, we identified diverse strategies used by clinicians and patients to integrate MyDiabetesPlan into the appointment, characterized by rapport building and individualization. Barriers to use included clinician-related, patient-related, and technical factors.

Conclusion: An interprofessional approach to SDM using a decision aid was feasible. Lower than expected numbers of diabetes-specific appointments and use of MyDiabetesPlan were observed. Addressing facilitators and barriers identified in this study will promote more seamless integration into clinical care. 

Trial registration Identifier: NCT02379078. Date of Registration: February 11, 2015. Protocol version: Version 1; February 26, 2015.


Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Knowledge to Action Operating Grant (Funding reference number KAL 290086)

Tier 1 Canada Research Chair

New Investigator Awards from CIHR

Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto



The original article is available at

Published Citation

Yu CH. et al. Integrating shared decision-making into primary care: lessons learned from a multi-centre feasibility randomized controlled trial. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 2021;21(1):323.

Publication Date

22 November 2021

PubMed ID



  • Undergraduate Research


BioMed Central


  • Published Version (Version of Record)