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Online patient education and risk assessment : project OPERA from cancerbackup - putting inherited breast cancer risk information into context using argumentation theory

Mackay, James ; Schulz, J. Peter ; Rubinelli, Sara ; Pithers, Andrea

In: Patient education and counseling, 2007, vol. 67, no. 3, p. 261-266

Many people are concerned about their family history of breast cancer, and are anxious about the possibility of developing breast cancer themselves. The majority of these people are likely not to be at significantly increased risk of developing inherited breast cancer. All women are at risk of developing sporadic breast cancer, and this risk increases with age. The UK National Institute of Health... Plus

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    Summary
    Many people are concerned about their family history of breast cancer, and are anxious about the possibility of developing breast cancer themselves. The majority of these people are likely not to be at significantly increased risk of developing inherited breast cancer. All women are at risk of developing sporadic breast cancer, and this risk increases with age. The UK National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence has published guidance for the National Health Service on the management of familial breast cancer. That guidance lays down clear criteria for categorising risk level and the appropriate management options. We have developed a user-friendly computer programme named OPERA (Online Patient Education and Risk Assessment) which captures the individuality of the user’s situation in a comprehensive way, and then produces personalised information packages, building on the theoretical framework of argumentation developed by Stephen Toulmin (1958). We will test this programme in a series of pilot studies commencing in Spring 2007. This paper describes the progress of this project to date and focuses on the design of the programme.