Certain scenarios within the medical context exist in which there is no definitive empirical evidence to favor one clinical protocol over another. This is typically the case in the treatment of late stage cancer patients and/or patients that are transitioning into palliative care. It is also the case in illnesses for which there are genetic tests to identify risk and/or available prophylactic options to reduce disease susceptibility. In some disease models, there is not only a lack of unity among the medical community, but even an air of controversy. In a climate of medical uncertainty, health-related decisions must be ethically guided by an individual’s health-related values and goals rather than hard scientific evidence. Providers are often called upon to facilitate this “preference-sensitive” decision process for patients, families, and their support system.
This course presents current findings on medical treatment decision making from a patient perspective. Our review is guided by relevant medical policy, ethics and theory- and evidence-based data. Common therapeutic themes associated with the preference sensitive decision process are discussed and the role of the healthcare provider in facilitating this process and the clinical application of decision aids are presented.
This online course is approved for APA CE credit, ASWB Clinical CE clock hours and NYSED CE credit. This online CE course is NOT associated with NBCC-approved clock hours.
After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
- Identify and discuss 2 prominent psychological theories that underlie medical decision making
- Distinguish between effective decisions and preference-sensitive decisions within the medical context and predict at least 3 factors associated with suboptimal healthcare decisions
- Recognize 3 critical psychological constructs that underlie preference-sensitive decisions, along with the supporting empirical evidence from a range of disease models
- Select and apply an evidence-based decision aid to facilitate preference-sensitive decisions and adaptation among patients challenged with medical uncertainty