- Primary Investigator:
- Primary Location:
University of Sydney, School of Public Health
- Grant Type & Year:
To test a brief consumer-led intervention consisting of three generic “Consumer Questions” designed to encourage doctors to discuss evidence related to treatment options with their patients. They are: 1) “What are my options?”; 2) “What are the possible outcomes of those options?”; and 3) “How likely is each of the outcomes to occur?”
Our study aims were to evaluate the effects on 1) the quality of communication about evidence related to treatment options as measured by the ACEPP scale and 2) patient involvement as measured by the OPTION scale.
Final results of the study have been attained. Scores on both scales were statistically significantly higher on both scales for the standardized patient (SPs) who used questions. The “Consumer Questions” increased patient involvement and communication about evidence in the family medicine context. The questions are shown to be a simple, inexpensive and sustainable consumer-led intervention which can be applicable across a wide variety of health decisions and do not require an expensive development and updating process. Possible benefits of these interventions include increased evidence-based practice, improved safety and quality of care, and a greater decision quality. A manuscript reporting the methods of the trial and these results is in preparation.
It is possible to send out Standardized Patients to test health care interventions in the Australian health care setting. This intervention appears to be more easily achieved in general and family practice settings rather than in specialty care settings such as oncology. In either context, it is a major undertaking, requiring significant resources and a large commitment to train the SPs. This method, however, shows to be a useful and effective method for investigating effects in real clinical practice.