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Mayo Clinic Clinicians Develop New Decision Aid Tool to Help Type 2 Diabetes Patients
Date:10/15/2009

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The cards were created by an innovative team of patients, clinicians, educators and designers. The tool consists of six cards that describe the possible effects of various medication choices on six outcomes: weight change, low blood sugar, blood sugar, daily routine, daily sugar testing and side effects.

Clinicians were randomized to either use the decision aid cards (intervention) or discuss medications as usually done (control). Data was gathered from a self-administered written survey completed by patients immediately after the patient's visit. Compared with the control patients, those who used the cards found them helpful and felt they were more involved in making decisions about their diabetes medication. While both groups had near-perfect adherence to their medication use, the cards were effective in involving patients with type 2 diabetes in the decision making and are a promising tool for better patient outcomes.

The cards, originally created as a list of medication options, changed during their design. "The cards morphed from [originally] being a set of cards about medications with somewhat unpronounceable names into a set of cards about issues that might be important to people with type 2 diabetes," says Maggie Breslin, a designer in the SPARC Design Studio in the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation. SPARC stands for See, Plan, Act, Refine, and Communicate and is the first design studio to be integrated into a medical practice setting, allowing the designers/researchers to work directly with patients in a care setting. She says the cards provided a much easier starting point for patients to better communicate with their care providers. You can view Breslin discussing the cards on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMcCLhEZdC8.

The initial randomized trial of the Diabetes Medication Choice decision aid cards was inconclusive because both
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SOURCE Mayo Clinic
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