PETUPAL: Preference-based decision aid to support participatory decisions about tumor-specific and palliative therapy in the last months of life

Decisions about the intensity of tumour-specific treatment for patients in the advanced stage of their disease are experienced as challenging by both the patient and the oncologist. Although the active involvement of patients in end-of-life treatment planning has been encouraged by cancer societies for more than a decade, translation into clinical practice remains a challenge. Oncologists often avoid talking about prognosis and forgoing tumor-specific therapies because they see this as one of the most difficult communication tasks. The development of decision aids is a strategy to facilitate patient participation and to support patients and their oncologist in making participatory decisions. By providing evidence-based information, they can help patients formulate their preferences and make decisions together with their family and doctor. Although decision-making aids have proven of value in other complex situations, they do not yet exist for the problem at hand.

The aim of this interdisciplinary joint project is to develop a decision-making aid that supports cancer patients in the advanced stages, their relatives and oncologists in deciding for or against tumor-specific treatment and the integration of palliative therapy in the last six months of life.

This project is funded by German Cancer Aid (DKH)
Term: 2019-2022

Oncology / Ethics

Health Economics


Health Services Research

Palliative Medicine

Heidelberg University

Medical Faculty

Heidelberg University Hospital

National Center for Tumor Diseases

Prof. Dr. med. Dr. phil. Eva Winkler,
Dr. rer. med. Katsiaryna Laryionava,
Rebecca Boekels


Bielefeld University

Faculty of Health Sciences

Health Economics and Health Management

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Greiner


Halle-Wittenberg University

Institute for the History and Ethics of Medicine

University Medicine

Prof. Dr. Jan Schildmann

Heidelberg University

Medical Faculty

Heidelberg University Hospital

Prof. Dr. Michel Wensing


Jena University

Jena University Hospital

PD Dr. Ulrich Wedding