Excellence in Research – Social Sciences, Business & Humanities (2011 Highly Commended)

Facilitating surgical decision making: Breconda, a novel decision aid for women facing breast reconstruction

Dr Kerry Sherman
Department of Psychology, Faculty of Human Sciences, Macquarie University


University of the West of England
Dr Diana Harcourt, Reader in Health Psychology, Co-Director, Centre for Appearance Research, , Bristol, UK.

University of Sydney, Westmead Hospital
Professor John Boyages, Executive Director, Westmead Breast Cancer Institute

Westmead Breast Cancer Institute, Westmead Hospital
Dr Thomas Lam, Plastic Surgeon


BRECONDA is a theoretically-guided, interactive, computer-based decision aid to assist women with breast cancer, and those at risk for developing breast cancer, to make decisions about breast reconstruction. Until now, thousands of women facing this decision did not have easy access to appropriate psychosocial support. This decision aid provides an innovative, cost-effective, accessible, and tailored intervention for all women in this situation. The modular form allows the user to work through the program at her own pace and accommodates to her information processing preferences. BRECONDA provides improved support by uniquely addressing cognitive and emotional aspects of the decision making process.

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