Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Clinicians, Patients May Differ on Treatment Option Priorities

Patients and clinicians may differ in what they believe is most important when determining a treatment plan, according to a survey published in BMJ Open.

The survey, led by researchers from the Dartmouth School Institute of Health Policy and Clinical Practice, included nearly 1,000 U.S. adults who were being treated, were awaiting treatment, or had previously been treated for depression, as well as 250 clinicians (mainly psychiatrists, primary care physicians, and therapists) who had recently treated patients for depression. Both patients and clinicians were asked to rate the information that they believed was most important when choosing a depression treatment.

The analysis showed that patients and clinicians both rated the effectiveness of treatment, side effects, and speed of recovery as most important when making a decision about treatment options for depression. However, while treatment costs and insurance coverage were indicated to be of high importance to patients, how a treatment works and how it should be used were rated more highly by clinicians. When considering the information priorities from a patient’s perspective, clinicians ranked treatment cost and insurance coverage of treatment of greater importance.

“While clinicians are aware of what matters most to consumers with depression, they do not always prioritize this information,” the study authors wrote. “Better equipping clinicians to talk to consumers about information central to consumer decision-making, such as the cost and insurance coverage associated with different treatment options, can lead to more engaged and empowered consumers.”

For related information, see the Psychiatric Services article “Adapting Shared Decision Making for Individuals With Severe Mental Illness.”

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