Developing instruments to measure the quality of decisions: early results for a set of symptom-driven decisions

Patient Educ Couns. 2008 Dec;73(3):504-10. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2008.07.009. Epub 2008 Aug 20.


Objective: To identify a set of critical facts and key goals and concerns for five common medical conditions, benign prostate disease, hip and knee osteoarthritis, herniated disc and spinal stenosis and examine the validity of the method for identifying these items.

Methods: Investigators identified facts and goals through literature reviews and qualitative work with patients and providers. A cross-sectional survey of patients and providers was conducted to examine the accuracy, importance and completeness of the identified items.

Results: 42 facts (6-16 per condition) and 31 goals and concerns (4-13 per condition) were identified. 182 responses were obtained from patients (76.5% response rate) and 113 responses from providers (78% response rate). Overall, the facts were accurate, important and complete across all conditions. For one condition (hip osteoarthritis), the goals did not meet the criteria for completeness. There was more disagreement between patients and providers around the ranking of goals than of facts.

Conclusions: Overall, respondents found the identified facts and goals accurate, important and complete. Significant differences between patients' and providers' rankings highlight the importance of including both perspectives.

Practice implications: Instruments to measure whether or not patients are informed and the extent to which treatments reflect patients' goals must balance patients' and providers' perspectives when selecting items to include.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Data Collection / methods
  • Data Collection / standards*
  • Decision Support Techniques*
  • Female
  • Goals
  • Humans
  • Intervertebral Disc Displacement / therapy
  • Lumbar Vertebrae
  • Male
  • Needs Assessment / standards
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / therapy
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / therapy
  • Patient Education as Topic* / methods
  • Patient Education as Topic* / standards
  • Patient Participation / methods
  • Patient Participation / psychology*
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / therapy
  • Psychometrics
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Risk Assessment
  • Spinal Stenosis / therapy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires