Discussion: Discussion: Patient Preferences and Decision Making
Changes in culture and technology have resulted in patient populations that are often well informed and educated, even before consulting or considering a healthcare need delivered by a health professional. Fueled by this, health professionals are increasingly involving patients in treatment decisions. However, this often comes with challenges, as illnesses and treatments can become complex.
What has your experience been with patient involvement in treatment or healthcare decisions?
In this Discussion, you will share your experiences and consider the impact of patient involvement (or lack of involvement). You will also consider the use of a patient decision aid to inform best practices for patient care and healthcare decision making.
- Review the Resources and reflect on a time when you experienced a patient being brought into (or not being brought into) a decision regarding their treatment plan.
- Review the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute’s Decision Aids Inventory at https://decisionaid.ohri.ca/.
- Choose “For Specific Conditions,” then Browse an alphabetical listing of decision aids by health topic.
- NOTE: To ensure compliance with HIPAA rules, please DO NOT use the patient’s real name or any information that might identify the patient or organization/practice.
By Day 3 of Week 11
Post a brief description of the situation you experienced and explain how incorporating or not incorporating patient preferences and values impacted the outcome of their treatment plan. Be specific and provide examples. Then, explain how including patient preferences and values might impact the trajectory of the situation and how these were reflected in the treatment plan. Finally, explain the value of the patient decision aid you selected and how it might contribute to effective decision making, both in general and in the experience you described. Describe how you might use this decision aid inventory in your professional practice or personal life.
Patient Preferences and Decision Making
The first stage in promoting patient involvement is understanding each patient’s unique preferences and needs for treatment, developing a good rapport, and focusing on each patient’s capacity to engage irrespective of their disease. As a nurse student in my clinical setting, I experienced a situation that required the patient’s involvement in making the treatment decision. A 43-year-old patient presented to the general practitioner complaining of severe headache and dizziness. She had a BMI of 27.9 and elevated blood pressure of 120–129 mm Hg. The physician diagnosed her and reported that the patient was at increased risk for hypertension. The patient was given Beta-blockers and some alpha-adrenoreceptor blockers. In addition, she was required to start an exercise program. Also, the physician recommended that she stop taking High-fat and energy-dense diets. However, the patient said she was not ready to stop taking her regular meals citing that healthier food diets are too expensive for her. She lost her job after Covid 19 and has been surviving with the bare minimum. As a result, it was important to explore and discuss the available alternative with the patient. I helped the patient choose the most readily available and affordable health food alternatives. She was very contented after learning that there were
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