About Careers MedBlog Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Patients Able to Make Informed Decisions About Screening When Provided With Personalized Risk Information

by Kathy Jones on March 1, 2013 at 9:28 PM
Font : A-A+

 Patients Able to Make Informed Decisions About Screening When Provided With Personalized Risk Information

A review conducted by Cochrane researchers has found that providing risk information to patients based on their own personal risk rather than average risks helps improve their ability to make genuinely informed choices about undergoing disease screening.

The authors reviewed data from studies, largely on cancer screens, in which patients were provided with personalised risk estimates.

Advertisement

The benefits of screening are not clear-cut. For example, screening can help detect cancer early, leading to successful treatment, but it can also lead to unnecessary treatment and anxiety either in healthy people or in those who would never have become seriously ill. Therefore, many health care providers are interested in finding approaches that help each patient make an informed decision about whether they want to have a screening test, instead of simply encouraging all patients to undergo screening. It is thought that risk information tailored to individuals, depending on factors including age and behaviours such as smoking, may be better understood by patients than information based on average risks.

The researchers wanted to know whether this approach of providing personalised risk information could enhance patient decision-making. They analysed data from 41 studies involving a total of 28,700 people. Most participants were candidates for breast or colorectal cancer screening. Patients were given personalised risk information to help them make informed decisions about screening tests. Some received this information in the form of numerical scores or risk levels (low, medium or high), while others received simple lists of risk factors that were personally relevant to them.
Advertisement

Data from three of the studies showed that 45% of those who received personalised risk information made informed choices, compared to 20% in a control group who received generic risk information. An informed decision was considered as one that was consistent between knowledge, attitude and choice. "There is strong evidence from these three trials that incorporating personalised risk estimates into communications about screening programmes can enhance informed decision-making by patients," said lead researcher Adrian Edwards of the Cochrane Institute of Primary Care and Public Health at Cardiff University in Cardiff, Wales. "However, we need to be careful about generalising from these results, which are drawn largely from studies in breast and colorectal cancer screening."

Most high-risk patients opted to take the tests. Overall, however, patients who were given more detailed personalised risk information were less likely to take screening tests. According to the researchers, informed decision-making may need to be incorporated into health objectives to ensure that health goals are not compromised.

"For the healthcare provider, it may be satisfactory to have had a discussion with a patient about the pros and cons of screening for cervical cancer, even if she decides not to undergo screening," said Edwards. "If this outcome was considered as 'adherent to health guidelines', then improvements in care could be achieved without falling foul of requirements for governance, audit, and payment targets."



Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
Advertisement

Latest Research News

What Are the Effects of Smoking on Quality of Life?
Tobacco smoke contains toxic chemicals which damage lungs, weaken the immune system and cause tuberculosis.
 Brain Shape Controls Our Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviour
Identifying an unappreciated relationship between brain shape and activity overturns the century-old paradigm emphasizing the importance of complex brain connectivity.
Eight Threats to Black Adult's Longevity
Decoding the eight factors affecting Black adults' life expectancy.
Beyond the Campus: Contrasting Realities Revealed!
Sobering truth about foot travel in the United States emerges from international statistics, highlighting the prevalence of walking on the Blacksburg campus.
Astounding Link Between Darwin's Theory and Synaptic Plasticity  Discovered!
Unveiling a hidden mechanism, proteins within brain cells exhibit newfound abilities at synapses, reinforcing Darwin's theory of adaptation and diversity in the natural world.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close
×

Patients Able to Make Informed Decisions About Screening When Provided With Personalized Risk Information Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests