Home > Publications . Search All . Browse All . Country . Browse PSC Pubs . PSC Report Series

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Weir's 2009 report on NFL brain injuries got more attention than neurological findings published in 2005

Edin and Shaefer's book a call to action for Americans to deal with poverty

Weir says pain may underlie rise in suicide and substance-related deaths among white middle-aged Americans


MCubed opens for new round of seed funding, November 4-18

PSC News, fall 2015 now available

Barbara Anderson appointed chair of Census Scientific Advisory Committee

John Knodel honored by Thailand's Chulalongkorn University

Next Brown Bag

Monday, Dec 7 at noon, 6050 ISR-Thompson
Daniel Eisenberg, "Healthy Minds Network: Mental Health among College-Age Populations"

Eleanor Singer photo

The role of perceived benefits and costs in patients' medical decisions

Publication Abstract

Singer, Eleanor, Mick P. Couper, Angela Fagerlin, Floyd J. Fowler, Carrie A. Levin, Peter A. Ubel, John Van Hoewyk, and Brian J. Zikmund-Fisher. 2014. "The role of perceived benefits and costs in patients' medical decisions." Health Expectations, 17(1): 4-14.

Background Many decisions can be understood in terms of actors' valuations of benefits and costs. The article investigates whether this is also true of patient medical decision making. It aims to investigate (i) the importance patients attach to various reasons for and against nine medical decisions; (ii) how well the importance attached to benefits and costs predicts action or inaction; and (iii) how such valuations are related to decision confidence. Methods In a national random digit dial telephone survey of U.S. adults, patients rated the importance of various reasons for and against medical decisions they had made or talked to a health-care provider about during the past 2years. Participants were 2575 English-speaking adults age 40 and older. Data were analysed by means of logistic regressions predicting action/inaction and linear regressions predicting confidence. Results Aggregating individual reasons into those that may be regarded as benefits and those that may be regarded as costs, and weighting them by their importance to the patient, shows the expected relationship to action. Perceived benefits and costs are also significantly related to the confidence patients report about their decision. Conclusion The factors patients say are important in their medical decisions reflect a subjective weighing of benefits and costs and predict action/inaction although they do not necessarily indicate that patients are well informed. The greater the difference between the importance attached to benefits and costs, the greater patients' confidence in their decision.

DOI:10.1111/j.1369-7625.2011.00739.x (Full Text)

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next