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Doctors need to help patients prepare better for health decisions
Date:9/28/2010

sidering blood pressure medications reported hearing about the cons of those actions.

  • Healthcare providers don't always ask patients what they want to do. For instance only 50 percent of patients deciding about cholesterol medications reported being asked whether they wanted them.

  • Most patients don't use the Internet to help them make common medical decisions, and healthcare professionals remain the most important information source.

  • Patients often don't know as much as they think they do. Many patients feel well informed even when they don't know key facts that could help them make a better decision.

  • African-Americans and Hispanics were less knowledgeable than other patients about medications to treat high cholesterol and more likely to say that their doctor made decisions about cholesterol medications for them.

  • Most patients think they are more likely to get cancer than they are, and tend to think cancer screening tests are more accurate than they are.

  • The study's findings suggest that men and women think about cancer risks differently. Women are more active participants in cancer screening decisions regardless of how at risk they feel, whereas men tended to get involved only if they felt at high risk.

    "Informed consent isn't real if patients understand so little about the tests and treatments they are getting," said Dr. Michael Barry, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and president of the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making, which funded the study.

    In fact, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed by President Obama earlier this year, has many provisions aimed to ensure patients are partners in medical decision making.

    These provisions include making patient decision aids for common health care decisions more widely available and promoting their adoption in U.S. health care. Decision aids help clinicians inform patients about th
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  • Contact: Laura Bailey
    baileylm@umich.edu
    734-764-1552
    University of Michigan
    Source:Eurekalert

    Page: 1 2 3

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