Improving shared decision-making in a clinical obstetric ward by using the three questions intervention, a pilot study
SourceBMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 18, 1, (2018), article 283
Article / Letter to editor
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BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
SubjectRadboudumc 0: Other Research RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
BACKGROUND: Shared decision-making (SDM) is an important aspect of modern health care. Many studies evaluated different interventions to improve SDM, however, none in an inpatient clinical setting. A tool that has been proven effective in an outpatient department is the three questions intervention. These questions are created for patients to get optimal information from their medical team and to make an informed medical decision. In this study, we evaluated the feasibility and effectiveness of this simple intervention on SDM in the obstetric inpatient department of a university hospital in the Netherlands. METHOD: This is a clinical pilot before and after study, using mixed methods with quantitative and qualitative data collection. The three questions were stated on a card; (i.e. 1) What are my options; 2) What are the possible benefits and harms of those options; 3) How likely are each of those benefits and harms to happen to me?). The study period lasted 6 weeks in which all patients admitted to the obstetric ward were asked to participate in the study. In the first 3 weeks patients did not receive the three questions intervention (pre-intervention group). In the final 3 weeks all patients included received the intervention (intervention group). The main quantitative outcome measure was the level of SDM measured using the SDM-Q9 questionnaire at discharge (range 0-100). In addition, interviews with four patients of the intervention group were conducted and qualitatively analyzed. RESULTS: Thirty-three patients were included in the pre-intervention group, 29 patients in the intervention group. The mean score of the SDM-Q9 in the pre-intervention group was 65.5 (SD 22.83) and in the intervention group 63.2 (SD 20.21), a not statistically significant difference. In the interviews, patients reported the three questions to be very useful. They used the questions mainly as a prompt and encouragement to ask more specific questions. DISCUSSION: No difference in SDM was found between the two groups, possibly because of a small sample size. Yet the intervention appeared to be feasible and simple to use in an inpatient department. Further studies are needed to evaluate the impact of implementation of these three questions on a larger scale.
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