Monthly Archives: April 2012

Jack Fowler

Shared Decision Making: Who Benefits the Most May Surprise You

Not long ago, I was talking with a news reporter about an article we published on how surgical decisions are made. The paper reported that surgery patients too often were not given enough information about reasonable options. During our discussion the reporter remarked that the findings of the study were all well and good for some people, but didn’t apply to her elderly dad. Her dad would never have wanted to have information or be involved in medical decisions about his care. Instead, he would just look to his wife to tell him what to do. Continue reading

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Health Journalism 2012 Atlanta

Shared Decision Making a Hot Topic at Health Journalism 2012 Conference

Last week the Association of Health Care Journalists held their Health Journalism 2012 conference in Atlanta, GA. Each year the conference seeks to provide context and clarity around health care issues that have taken center stage thanks to advances in medicine, political activity and public interest. So it’s no surprise that shared decision making was a hot topic at this year’s conference. Dr. Michael J. Barry, president of the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation, was a member of the panel A reporter’s guide to medical decision making. Continue reading

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Spotlight Back on Prostate Cancer Screening Thanks to Warren Buffett’s Diagnosis and Treatment Plan

Prostate cancer screening and treatment made the news again this week with Warren Buffett’s announcement that he has early stage, localized, prostate cancer identified through the use of a PSA screening test. The 81 year-old Buffett is six years older than the recommended cut off age for regular PSA testing. He has opted for two months of radiation to treat the cancer. Both Buffett’s diagnosis and treatment choice has put the spotlight on a diagnostic tool and disease that is poorly understood by many people. Continue reading

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Choosing Wisely: An initiative of the ABIM Foundation

Michael Barry on the “Choosing Wisely” Initiative

Last week, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation launched their Choosing Wisely® initiative. The nine medical societies in support of the initiative are warning patients and doctors to choose wisely when it comes to 45 common medical tests. Dr. Michael J. Barry, president of the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation, provides a brief overview of the initiative and some key takeaways in the short video below. Continue reading

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Decision Aids Shown (Again) to Improve Decision Quality

The updated Cochrane Collaborative review of 86 randomized control trials (in six countries), involving 34 decisions, set out to find out how well decision aids prepare people to participate in decisions that involve weighing benefits, harms and scientific uncertainty. What the authors found was that decision aids not only improve the individual’s knowledge of their options, including the benefits and harms of those options, but decision aids also assist people in reaching choices that are more consistent with their informed values, while fostering collaboration with their provider. Continue reading

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