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Health Psychol. 2005 Jul;24(4S):S17-22.

Making better decisions: from measuring to constructing preferences.

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Center for Decision Sciences, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA.


The authors examine how a constructive preferences perspective might change the prevailing view of medical decision making by suggesting that the methods used to measure preferences for medical treatments can change the preferences that are reported. The authors focus on 2 possible techniques that they believe would result in better outcomes. The 1st is the wise selection of default options. Defaults may be best applied when strong clinical evidence suggests a treatment option to be correct for most people but preserving patient choice is appropriate. The 2nd is the use of environments that explicitly facilitate the optimal construction of preferences. This seems most appropriate when choice depends on a patient's ability to understand and represent probabilities and outcomes. For each technique, the authors describe the background and literature, provide a case study, and discuss applications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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