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Med Care. 1999 Mar;37(3):270-84.

Patient decision support intervention: increased consistency with decision analytic models.

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Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824-1317, USA. mholmes@pilot.Msu.Edu



Patient Decision Support (PDS) tools assist patients in using medical evidence to make choices consistent that are with their values and in using evidence about consequences of medical alternatives.


To evaluate a PDS intervention for perimenopausal hormone replacement therapy. We assessed the impact of the PDS on (1) consistency between the decision to take estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) or progesterone/estrogen replacement therapy (PERT) and the expected utility of treatment and (2) likelihood to take ERT and PERT pre- and postintervention.


Content of the PDS was standardized. Randomized trial of three intensities of intervention: (1) brochure; (2) lecture/discussion; and (3) active decision support.


Participants were perimenopausal community volunteers between the ages of 40 and 65 (n = 248).


(1) Consistent with values (correlation between expected utility (EU) and likelihood of taking hormones); and (2) Likelihood to take hormone replacement therapy.


(1) The brochure group was less consistent with the decision analytic model than the lecture/discussion and active decision support groups. (2) Influence on decisions: PDS tools increased the number of women certain about whether or not to take hormones. There were no differences among experimental groups. Of 99 women uncertain about ERT pre-PDS, 65% changed. Twenty-one (32%) decided against ERT and 44 (68%) decided for ERT. (3) More intensive interventions produced modest gains in a normative direction.


PDSs using any of 3 formats reduce uncertainty and assist women to make informed decisions. Increased consistency with decision analytic models appears to be driven by better estimates of likelihood of outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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