Guiding individual decisions: a randomized, controlled trial of decision analysis

Am J Med. 1988 Feb;84(2):283-8. doi: 10.1016/0002-9343(88)90426-3.


In early 1983, all 1,280 faculty and resident physicians at one hospital who were eligible to be vaccinated against hepatitis B were divided randomly into three groups: Group 1 physicians received general information about the risks and benefits of alternative vaccine decisions; Group 2 physicians were additionally invited to provide personal information for an individualized decision analysis (12.6 percent responded); and Group 3 physicians, who served as controls, were not contacted. In one year's follow-up, 20 percent of physicians were screened for hepatitis B antibody or vaccinated. More Group 2 physicians whose decision analyses recommended screening or vaccination took these actions (39 percent) than any other group. Group assignment remained significantly associated with vaccine decisions after analyzing results by the "intention to treat" principle, and after adjusting for training status, exposure to blood and blood products, and pre-study intentions about the vaccine. Despite the low overall vaccine acceptance rate, it is concluded that individualized decision analysis can influence the clinical decisions taken by knowledgeable and interested patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Decision Making*
  • Decision Support Techniques*
  • Faculty, Medical*
  • Hepatitis B / prevention & control*
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Pennsylvania
  • Physicians / psychology*
  • Random Allocation
  • Vaccination*
  • Viral Hepatitis Vaccines*


  • Hepatitis B Vaccines
  • Viral Hepatitis Vaccines