Decision Aid Implementation among Left Ventricular Assist Device Programs Participating in the DECIDE-LVAD Stepped-Wedge Trial

Med Decis Making. 2020 Apr;40(3):289-301. doi: 10.1177/0272989X20915227.


Background. Despite demonstrated efficacy, patient decision aids (DAs) are rarely used in clinical practice in the absence of coverage mandates. Deciding whether to pursue a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) is a major, preference-sensitive decision-ideal for exploring implementation of a DA. Methods. We conducted a type II effectiveness-implementation hybrid trial at 6 LVAD programs using a stepped-wedge cluster-randomized design. Using the RE-AIM framework, we collected both quantitative and qualitative outcomes, including a checklist collected by study staff for each enrolled patient regarding DA use and interviews with LVAD program clinicians preintervention, 6 months postintervention, and at the conclusion of the study. Results. From June 2015 to January 2017, 248 patients and their caregivers were enrolled. A total of 69 interviews were conducted with 48 clinicians at 3 time points. The DA reached 95% of eligible patients. Adoption was 100%, as all sites approached agreed to participate in the trial. Interviews revealed several themes related to the implementation of the DA: clinicians had a strong desire to ensure patients were informed and embraced the DA. Despite this, they reported communication challenges among their team that impeded implementation. Five of the 6 sites have maintained use of the DA following the trial; 1 site reported concerns about decreased procedural volume with use of the DA as a reason for discontinuation. Conclusions. In this hybrid trial, a DA for patients considering LVADs and their caregivers demonstrated high reach. Adoption and implementation were facilitated by a strong desire to ensure that patients were well informed. Future dissemination research and practice should attend to concerns about procedure volume and coverage mandates and facilitate ongoing communication at sites using the DA.

Trial registration: NCT02344576.

Keywords: decision aid; heart failure; implementation; shared decision making; ventricular assist device.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Colorado
  • Decision Support Techniques*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Heart Failure / psychology
  • Heart Failure / surgery
  • Heart Ventricles / surgery*
  • Heart-Assist Devices / adverse effects
  • Heart-Assist Devices / psychology*
  • Heart-Assist Devices / standards
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged

Associated data