Bringing diversity of experience into decision-making about surgery: developing an app for that

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Ilja Ormel
Susan Law
Michel Lortie
Charles Onu
Donna Tataryn



To design and pilot a mobile application to support decision-making about surgery for breast cancer patients, drawing from a collection of narratives from a diverse sample of Canadian women that used video/audio recordings (published on



This idea came from the results of a larger research project where we collected a wide range of women’s stories about having breast cancer using qualitative research methods and video/audio recording. The women we interviewed for this project said that they felt overwhelmed by the amount of information in the period between diagnosis and surgery, and at the same time they felt they needed more specific information relevant to their needs, personal situation and preferences. They also wanted to learn from other women’s experiences of surgery. This project therefore aims to develop an information tool that can respond to that need by offering information in a more personalized manner. This project is funded by the QBCF [Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation].



Secondary analysis of existing data. Development of recommender system. Design and evaluation involving patients, clinicians and informatics experts.



We will present our analysis regarding women’s experiences related to surgery, decision-making, preferences and expectations, and need for experiential information. We will then present the development to date of a personalized information application using a computerized recommender system, including a summary of challenges and opportunities encountered along the way.



Developing reliable, evidence-based tools and electronic applications based on other peoples’ experiences offers a novel approach to support informed healthcare decision-making.

Article Details

How to Cite
Ormel, I., Law, S., Lortie, M., Onu, C., & Tataryn, D. (2018). Bringing diversity of experience into decision-making about surgery: developing an app for that. The International Journal of Whole Person Care, 5(1).
Congress 2017