Launching a virtual decision lab: development and field-testing of a web-based patient decision support research platform

Title: Launching a virtual decision lab: development and field-testing of a web-based patient decision support research platform
Authors: Hoffman, Aubri S
Llewellyn-Thomas, Hilary A
Tosteson, Anna N A
O’Connor, Annette M
Volk, Robert J
Tomek, Ivan M
Andrews, Steven B
Bartels, Stephen J
Date: 2014-12-12
Abstract: Abstract Background Over 100 trials show that patient decision aids effectively improve patients’ information comprehension and values-based decision making. However, gaps remain in our understanding of several fundamental and applied questions, particularly related to the design of interactive, personalized decision aids. This paper describes an interdisciplinary development process for, and early field testing of, a web-based patient decision support research platform, or virtual decision lab, to address these questions. Methods An interdisciplinary stakeholder panel designed the web-based research platform with three components: a) an introduction to shared decision making, b) a web-based patient decision aid, and c) interactive data collection items. Iterative focus groups provided feedback on paper drafts and online prototypes. A field test assessed a) feasibility for using the research platform, in terms of recruitment, usage, and acceptability; and b) feasibility of using the web-based decision aid component, compared to performance of a videobooklet decision aid in clinical care. Results This interdisciplinary, theory-based, patient-centered design approach produced a prototype for field-testing in six months. Participants (n = 126) reported that: the decision aid component was easy to use (98%), information was clear (90%), the length was appropriate (100%), it was appropriately detailed (90%), and it held their interest (97%). They spent a mean of 36 minutes using the decision aid and 100% preferred using their home/library computer. Participants scored a mean of 75% correct on the Decision Quality, Knowledge Subscale, and 74 out of 100 on the Preparation for Decision Making Scale. Completing the web-based decision aid reduced mean Decisional Conflict scores from 31.1 to 19.5 (p < 0.01). Conclusions Combining decision science and health informatics approaches facilitated rapid development of a web-based patient decision support research platform that was feasible for use in research studies in terms of recruitment, acceptability, and usage. Within this platform, the web-based decision aid component performed comparably with the videobooklet decision aid used in clinical practice. Future studies may use this interactive research platform to study patients’ decision making processes in real-time, explore interdisciplinary approaches to designing web-based decision aids, and test strategies for tailoring decision support to meet patients’ needs and preferences.
CollectionLibre accès - Publications // Open Access - Publications