A scoping review of information provided within degenerative cervical myelopathy education resources: Towards enhancing shared decision making

Rishi Umeria, Oliver Mowforth, Ben Grodzinski, Zahabiya Karimi, Iwan Sadler, Helen Wood, Irina Sangeorzan, Petrea Fagan, Rory Murphy, Angus McNair, Benjamin Davies*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
35 Downloads (Pure)


BACKGROUND: Degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM) is a chronic neurological condition estimated to affect 1 in 50 adults. Due to its diverse impact, trajectory and management options, patient-centred care and shared decision making are essential. In this scoping review, we aim to explore whether information needs in DCM are currently being met in available DCM educational resources. This forms part of a larger Myelopathy.org project to promote shared decision making in DCM.

METHODS: A search was completed encompassing MEDLINE, Embase and grey literature. Resources relevant to DCM were compiled for analysis. Resources were grouped into 5 information types: scientific literature, videos, organisations, health education websites and patient information leaflets. Resources were then further arranged into a hierarchical framework of domains and subdomains, formed through inductive analysis. Frequency statistics were employed to capture relative popularity as a surrogate marker of potential significance.

RESULTS: Of 2674 resources, 150 information resources addressing DCM were identified: 115 scientific literature resources, 28 videos, 5 resources from health organisations and 2 resources from health education websites. Surgical management was the domain with the largest number of resources (66.7%, 100/150). The domain with the second largest number of resources was clinical presentation and natural history (28.7%, 43/150). Most resources (83.3%, 125/150) were designed for professionals. A minority (11.3% 17/150) were written for a lay audience or for a combined audience (3.3%, 5/150).

CONCLUSION: Educational resources for DCM are largely directed at professionals and focus on surgical management. This is at odds with the needs of stakeholders in a lifelong condition that is often managed without surgery, highlighting an unmet educational need.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0268220
Number of pages18
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) received no specific funding for this work. BMD is supported by a NIHR Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship. ODM is supported by an Academic Clinical Fellowship. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the National Institute for Health Research or the Department of Health and Social Care.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright: © 2022 Umeria et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


  • Decision Making, Shared
  • Humans
  • Patient-Centered Care
  • Spinal Cord Diseases/surgery


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