A decision aid to support shared decision making about mechanical ventilation in severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients (InformedTogether): Feasibility study

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J Med Internet Res


© Melissa Basile, Johanna Andrews, Sonia Jacome, Meng Zhang, Andrzej Kozikowski, Negin Hajizadeh. Background: Severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease patients are often unprepared to make decisions about accepting intubation for respiratory failure. We developed a Web-based decision aid, InformedTogether, to facilitate severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease patients' preparation for decision making about whether to accept invasive mechanical ventilation for respiratory failure. Objective: We describe feasibility testing of the InformedTogether decision aid. Methods: Mixed methods, pre- and postintervention feasibility study in outpatient pulmonary and geriatric clinics. Clinicians used InformedTogether with severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease patients. Patient-participants completed pre- and postassessments about InformedTogether use. The outcomes measured were the following: feasibility/acceptability, communication (Combined Outcome Measure for Risk Communication [COMRADE], Medical Communication Competency Scale [MCCS], Observing Patient Involvement [OPTION] scales), and effectiveness of InformedTogether on changing patients' knowledge, Decisional Conflict Scale, and motivation. Results: We enrolled 11 clinicians and 38 Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease patients at six sites. Feasibility/acceptability: Clinicians and patients gave positive responses to acceptability questions (mean 74.1/89 max [SD 7.24] and mean 59.63/61 [SD 4.49], respectively). Communication: 96% of clinicians stated InformedTogether improved communication (modified MCCS mean 44.54/49 [SD 2.97]; mean OPTION score 32.03/48 [SD 9.27]; mean COMRADE Satisfaction 4.31/5.0 [SD 0.58]; and COMRADE Confidence 4.18/5.0 [SD 0.56]). Preference: Eighty percent of patients discussed preferences with their surrogates by 1-month. Effectiveness: Knowledge scores increased significantly after using InformedTogether (mean difference 3.61 [SD 3. 44], P=.001) and Decisional Conflict decreased (mean difference Decisional Conflict Scale pre/post -13.76 [SD 20.39], P=.006). Motivation increased after viewing the decision aid. Conclusions: InformedTogether supports high-quality communication and shared decision making among Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease patients, clinicians, and surrogates. The increased knowledge and opportunity to deliberate and discuss treatment choices after using InformedTogether should lead to improved decision making at the time of critical illness.

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School of Medicine

Primary Department

Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine

Additional Departments

General Internal Medicine



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