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Theory-informed design of values clarification methods: A cognitive psychological perspective on patient health-related decision making

Listed author(s):
  • Pieterse, Arwen H.
  • de Vries, Marieke
  • Kunneman, Marleen
  • Stiggelbout, Anne M.
  • Feldman-Stewart, Deb
Registered author(s):

    Healthcare decisions, particularly those involving weighing benefits and harms that may significantly affect quality and/or length of life, should reflect patients' preferences. To support patients in making choices, patient decision aids and values clarification methods (VCM) in particular have been developed. VCM intend to help patients to determine the aspects of the choices that are important to their selection of a preferred option. Several types of VCM exist. However, they are often designed without clear reference to theory, which makes it difficult for their development to be systematic and internally coherent. Our goal was to provide theory-informed recommendations for the design of VCM. Process theories of decision making specify components of decision processes, thus, identify particular processes that VCM could aim to facilitate. We conducted a review of the MEDLINE and PsycINFO databases and of references to theories included in retrieved papers, to identify process theories of decision making. We selected a theory if (a) it fulfilled criteria for a process theory; (b) provided a coherent description of the whole process of decision making; and (c) empirical evidence supports at least some of its postulates. Four theories met our criteria: Image Theory, Differentiation and Consolidation theory, Parallel Constraint Satisfaction theory, and Fuzzy-trace Theory. Based on these, we propose that VCM should: help optimize mental representations; encourage considering all potentially appropriate options; delay selection of an initially favoured option; facilitate the retrieval of relevant values from memory; facilitate the comparison of options and their attributes; and offer time to decide. In conclusion, our theory-based design recommendations are explicit and transparent, providing an opportunity to test each in a systematic manner.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 77 (2013)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 156-163

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:77:y:2013:i:c:p:156-163
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.11.020
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    1. Ola Svenson & Ilkka Salo & Torun Lindholm, 2009. "Post-decision consolidation and distortion of facts," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 4(5), pages 397-407, August.
    2. Ordonez, Lisa D. & Benson, Lehman & Beach, Lee Roy, 1999. "Testing the Compatibility Test: How Instructions, Accountability, and Anticipated Regret Affect Prechoice Screening of Options," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 63-80, April.
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    9. Bond, Samuel D. & Carlson, Kurt A. & Meloy, Margaret G. & Russo, J. Edward & Tanner, Robin J., 2007. "Information distortion in the evaluation of a single option," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 240-254, March.
    10. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    11. Gensch, Dennis H & Javalgi, Rajshekhar G, 1987. " The Influence of Involvement on Disaggregate Attribute Choice Models," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(1), pages 71-82, June.
    12. Andreas Glöckner & Tilmann Betsch, 2008. "Modelling option and strategy choices with connectionist networks: Towards an integrative model of automatic and deliberate decision making," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 3, pages 215-228, March.
    13. Seidl, Christian & Traub, Stefan, 1998. "A New Test of Image Theory, , , , , , , , , ," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 93-116, August.
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