Division of Population Science
Decision Counseling Program
Important health decisions may relate to lifestyle changes, early detection tests, risk assessment, treatment, quality of life, or survivorship. Making good health decisions can be difficult for patients and providers, especially when there is a lot of information to understand and there is uncertainty about possible outcomes. Informed decision making by patients and shared decision-making that involves patients and health care providers are recognized as hallmarks of quality medical care.
Decision counseling enables patients and providers to explore the pros and cons associated with challenging health care decisions, identify important factors that influence decision making, weigh the influence of relevant factors, clarify personal preference among available options, and encourage selection of an option that makes sense. Outcomes of decision counseling may include:
- Increased patient and provider awareness and understanding of available healthcare options
- Increased provider awareness and understanding of patient preferences
- Increased patient and provider satisfaction
- Decreased time required by providers for patient education and counseling
- Improved clinical outcomes
Currently, decision counseling is a mediated decision support method that is available through Thomas Jefferson University IRB approved research studies. We plan to integrate this unique resource into routine clinical care in the future.