It’s a common situation: a doctor recommends that a patient get a heart test. What do these tests show? How do you know if such a test is right for you? To explain the reasons for different heart tests and to help patients choose the right test, the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation has developed a Shared Decision-Making® program called Heart Tests: Learning About Your Choices.
This program targets audiences in one of three situations: 1) angina (or chest pain) of unknown cause; 2) heart disease and worsening angina; 3) risk factors for heart disease but no angina. Heart disease is described and common tests that may be used in these situations are discussed such as electrocardiograms (EKGs or ECGs), exercise stress tests, heart catheterizations (angiography) and heart CT scans. The program walks through how the tests are performed, what they show, their possible harms and how the results can be used to make treatment decisions in each of the three situations.
The Foundation has developed separate programs on medical therapy and lifestyle changes for coronary heart disease and stents and bypass surgery.
This program was developed with our production partner, Health Dialog. It is available as a booklet and a web-based program (Health Crossroads®) for Health Dialog members.