To Prepare:

  • Review the Resources and reflect on a time when you experienced a patient being brought into (or not being brought into) a decision regarding their treatment plan.
  • Review the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute’s Decision Aids Inventory at https://decisionaid.ohri.ca/Links to an external site..
    • Choose “For Specific Conditions,” then Browse an alphabetical listing of decision aids by health topic.
  • After you have chosen a topic (or condition) and a decision aid, consider if social determinants of healthLinks to an external site. were considered in the treatment plan Social determinants of health can affect a patient’s decision as these are conditions in the patient’s environment, such as economic stability, education access, health care access and quality, neighborhood, and social and community context.
  • NOTE: To ensure compliance with HIPAA rules, please DO NOT use the patient’s real name or any information that might identify the patient or organization/practice.

Post a brief description of the situation you experienced and explain how incorporating or not incorporating patient preferences, social determinants of healthLinks to an external site., and values impacted the outcome of their treatment plan. Be specific and provide examples. Then, explain how including patient preferences, social determinants of health, and values might impact the trajectory of the situation and how these were reflected in the treatment plan. Finally, explain the value of the patient decision aid you selected and how it might contribute to effective decision making, both in general and in the experience you described. Describe how you might use this decision aid inventory in your professional practice or personal life.

(Please Note: The underlined “social determinants of health” in the above content is meant to hotlink to the following Walden webpage and content:

Social Determinants of Health – Social Determinants of Health – Academic Guides at Walden Links to an external site.University)

Patient Preferences and Decision Making Description

Description of Situation:

In a recent clinical encounter, I interacted with a patient, let’s call her Mrs. Smith, who was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer. Mrs. Smith was presented with various treatment options, including surgery followed by chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of these treatments. However, Mrs. Smith seemed overwhelmed and confused by the options presented to her. Her main concern was how these treatments would impact her ability to continue working and providing for her family. She expressed worries about potential financial strain due to treatment costs and the need for transportation to and from appointments, as she lived in a rural area with limited access to public transport.

Impact of Incorporating Patient Preferences and Social Determinants of Health:

Initially, Mrs. Smith’s treatment plan was being discussed solely based on medical considerations without fully incorporating her preferences and social determinants of health. This oversight led to Mrs. Smith feeling disconnected from the decision-making process and resulted in her experiencing heightened anxiety about her treatment journey.

Had we incorporated Mrs. Smith’s preferences and considered her social determinants of health, the outcome of her treatment plan could have been more patient-centered and effective. For example, understanding her concerns about financial strain and transportation issues could have led us to explore treatment options that minimized these burdens, such as scheduling treatments closer to her home or providing resources for financial assistance.

Incorporating Patient Preferences and Social Determinants of Health in the Treatment Plan:

To address Mrs. Smith’s concerns effectively, we re-evaluated her treatment plan by considering her preferences and social determinants of health. We engaged in shared decision-making, discussing the pros and cons of each treatment option in the context of her unique circumstances. We also provided Mrs. Smith with information about community resources for financial assistance and transportation services.

Value of Decision Aid:

In this scenario, the decision aid “Breast Cancer: What Surgery to Have” from the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute’s Decision Aids Inventory could have been immensely valuable. This decision aid provides comprehensive information about different surgical options for breast cancer treatment, along with their associated risks and benefits. By using this decision aid, Mrs. Smith could have gained a better understanding of her treatment options, empowering her to make a well-informed decision aligned with her preferences and values.

Using Decision Aid Inventory in Practice:

In my professional practice, I would utilize decision aids from the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute’s Decision Aids Inventory to facilitate shared decision-making with patients. These decision aids can serve as valuable tools for presenting treatment options in a clear and understandable manner, while also considering patients’ preferences and social determinants of health. By integrating decision aids into clinical practice, healthcare providers can enhance patient engagement, improve treatment adherence, and ultimately achieve better health outcomes. Additionally, I would advocate for the integration of social determinants of health assessment tools into routine clinical practice to ensure that patients’ holistic needs are addressed in their treatment plans.

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