Development and preliminary testing of a patient decision aid to assist pharmaceutical care in the prevention of cardiovascular disease

Pharmacotherapy. 2004 Jul;24(7):909-22. doi: 10.1592/phco.24.9.909.36104.


Study objective: To develop and test a decision aid for patients with hypertension and/or dyslipidemia because a decision aid may assist in pharmaceutical care by providing relevant evidence-based information.

Design: Before and after use of a decision aid.

Setting: Hypertension clinic of a university hospital and a specialized coronary heart disease-prevention clinic.

Patients: A convenience sample of 16 patients receiving pharmacologic treatment for hypertension and/or dyslipidemia.

Intervention: A face-to-face interview was conducted before using the decision aid. This was followed by a telephone interview after the patient used the decision aid to assess the acceptability of the decision aid to the patient, as well as the patient's knowledge, risk perception, and decisional conflict.

Measurements and main results: The decision aid consists of a booklet containing general, evidence-based information and a personal worksheet. The worksheet provides information on patient risk factors, personal estimates of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, the benefits of treatment options, and values clarification exercise. It invites patients to specify an action plan and follow their own progress over time. Most patients (86-93%) rated the presentation of the information as excellent or very good, 80% judged the information about lifestyle changes and drug therapy to be balanced, 93% rated the amount of information "just right," and 100% found the decision aid useful. After using the decision aid, patients had higher knowledge scores for general risk factors (before, 91%; after, 100%, p=0.014), personal risk factors (73%, 92%, p=0.016), and treatment options (68%, 99%, p<0.001). More patients were able to estimate correctly their CVD risk category (50%, 93%, p=0.03) and their absolute 10-year CVD risk (0%, 93%, p<0.001), whereas the overall decisional conflict score decreased (p=0.007).

Conclusion: The decision aid was acceptable to patients and improved their knowledge, risk perception, and decisional conflict. Therefore, the feasibility and impact of using the decision aid in community pharmacies and medical clinics should be assessed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Decision Support Techniques*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Patient Education as Topic / standards
  • Patient Participation / methods*
  • Pharmaceutical Services* / standards