Promoting decision aid use in primary care using a staff member for delivery

Patient Educ Couns. 2012 Feb;86(2):189-94. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2011.04.033. Epub 2011 Jun 15.


Objective: To determine the feasibility and effectiveness of in-clinic decision aid distribution using a care assistant.

Methods: We identified potentially eligible patients scheduled for upcoming appointments in our General Internal Medicine Clinic (n=1229). Patients were deemed eligible for two decision aids: prostate cancer screening and/or weight loss surgery. Patients were approached to view the decision aid in-clinic. Our primary measures were the proportion of decision aids distributed to eligible patients, and the proportion of decision aids viewed.

Results: Among 913 patients who attended their scheduled appointments, 58% (n=525) were approached and eligibility was assessed by the staff member. Among the 471 who remained eligible, 57% (n=268) viewed at least a portion of the target decision aid. The mean viewing time for patients who watched less than the complete decision aid was 13 min.

Conclusions: In clinic viewing of decision aids may be a feasible and effective distribution method in primary care.

Practice implications: In clinic distribution requires an electronic health information system to identify potentially eligible patients, and a staff member dedicated to DA distribution. Brief decision aids (less than 10 min) are needed so patients can complete their use prior to the visit to facilitate patient-physician decision making.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Decision Making*
  • Decision Support Techniques*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Personnel
  • Health Promotion
  • Hospitals, Teaching
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / surgery
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Patient Participation
  • Pilot Projects
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Primary Health Care / methods*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Time Factors
  • Video Recording