Patients' and physicians' beliefs and attitudes towards integrating personalized risk estimates into patient education about left ventricular assist device therapy

Patient Educ Couns. 2024 May:122:108157. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2024.108157. Epub 2024 Jan 24.


Background: Personalized risk (PR) estimates may enhance clinical decision making and risk communication by providing individualized estimates of patient outcomes. We explored stakeholder attitudes toward the utility, acceptability, usefulness and best-practices for integrating PR estimates into patient education and decision making about Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD).

Methods and results: As part of a 5-year multi-institutional AHRQ project, we conducted 40 interviews with stakeholders (physicians, nurse coordinators, patients, and caregivers), analyzed using Thematic Content Analysis. All stakeholder groups voiced positive views towards integrating PR in decision making. Patients, caregivers and coordinators emphasized that PR can help to better understand a patient's condition and risks, prepare mentally and logistically for likely outcomes, and meaningfully engage in decision making. Physicians felt it can improve their decision making by enhancing insight into outcomes, enhance tailored pre-emptive care, increase confidence in decisions, and reduce bias and subjectivity. All stakeholder groups also raised concerns about accuracy, representativeness and relevance of algorithms; predictive uncertainty; utility in relation to physician's expertise; potential negative reactions among patients; and overreliance.

Conclusion: Stakeholders are optimistic about integrating PR into clinical decision making, but acceptability depends on prospectively demonstrating accuracy, relevance and evidence that benefits of PR outweigh potential negative impacts on decision making quality.

Keywords: Clinical decision making; Patient engagement; Personalized risk estimates; Shared decision making.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude
  • Decision Making
  • Heart-Assist Devices*
  • Humans
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Physicians*