Informed Decision Tools Largely Reduce Ortho Joint Surgeries
"We saw a large shift in rates of surgery and costs of care after introducing decision aids," says David Arterburn, associate investigator at Group Health Research Institute and principal investigator of the study, which asked 27 staff surgeons and 15 physician assistants who see patients in five specialty clinical sites located in Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma, Olympia and Silverdale to distribute the tools.
Arterburn and his colleagues at Group Health pointed to "strong evidence from prior research that most patients are not well-informed of their treatment choices or their likely outcome probabilities at the time that they make major medical decisions."
The two decision tools, which were developed by the Informed Medical Decision Foundation in Boston and Health Dialog, explain to patients details of the surgery they are about to have, what non-surgical options exist, what life-style changes they could make, and what physical therapy and walking aids or pain medications, or complementary and alternative therapies might be selected instead of surgery.
A section under surgical treatment choices goes into detail about the various kinds of surgery, such as the types of artificial hip joints, types of surgery incisions, or hip resurfacing.
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