Trial of an Electronic Decision Support System to Facilitate Shared Decision Making in Community Mental Health

Ann Arbor Department of Veterans Affairs, Serious Mental Illness Treatment, Research, and Evaluation Center, Health Services Research and Development, P.O. Box 13017, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, USA.
Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.) (Impact Factor: 2.41). 01/2011; 62(1):54-60. DOI: 10.1176/
Source: PubMed


Involvement of community mental health consumers in mental health decision making has been consistently associated with improvements in health outcomes. Electronic decision support systems (EDSSs) that support both consumer and provider decision making may be a sustainable way to improve dyadic communication in a field with approximately 50% workforce turnover per year. This study examined the feasibility of such a system and investigated proximal outcomes of the system's performance.
A cluster randomized design was used to evaluate an EDSS at three urban community mental health sites. Case managers (N=20) were randomly assigned to the EDSS-supported planning group or to the usual care planning group. Consumers (N=80) were assigned to the same group as their case managers. User satisfaction with the care planning process was assessed for consumers and case managers (possible scores range from 1 to 5, with higher summary scores indicating more satisfaction). Recall of the care plan was assessed for consumers. Linear regression with adjustment for grouping by worker was used to assess satisfaction scores. A Wilcoxon rank-sum test was used to examine knowledge of the care plan.
Compared with case managers in the control group, those in the intervention group were significantly more satisfied with the care planning process (mean ± SD score=4.0 ± .5 versus 3.3 ± .5; adjusted p=.01). Compared with consumers in the control group, those in the intervention group had significantly greater recall of their care plans three days after the planning session (mean proportion of plan goals recalled=75% ± 28% versus 57% ± 32%; p=.02). There were no differences between the clients in the intervention and control groups regarding satisfaction.
This study demonstrated that clients can build their own care plans and negotiate and revise them with their case managers using an EDSS.

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    • "Issues related to responsibilities arose throughout the design processes. Our assessment of similar tools [10,19,20] found that they were mainly used at clinics either from pre-consultation kiosks and/or during consultations. To our knowledge, the information generated during these encounters remains accessible to service users only when they are together with their clinician, who is responsible for quality and data protection. "
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    ABSTRACT: Increasingly, the involvement of persons with lived experiences of mental illness and service use is viewed as key to improving the relevance and utility of mental health research and service innovation. Guided by the principles of Community-Based Participatory Research we developed an online tool for assisted self-help in mental health. The resulting tool, PsyConnect, is ready for testing in two communities starting 2014. This case study reports from the design phase which entailed clarifying very basic questions: Who is the primary target group? What are the aims? What functions are priorities? Roles and responsibilities? What types of evidence can legitimize tool design decisions? Here we highlight the views of service users as a basis for discussing implications of user involvement for service design and research. Case description: PsyConnect has become a tool for those who expect to need assistance over long periods of time regardless of their specific condition(s). The aim is to support service users in gaining greater overview and control, legitimacy, and sense of continuity in relationships. It has a personalized "my control panel" which depicts status- process goals. Functionality includes support for; mapping life domains; medication overview; crisis management; coping exercises; secure messaging; and social support. While the types of evidence that can legitimize design decisions are scattered and indirectly relevant, newer trends in recovery will guide further refinements. PsyConnect has undoubtedly become something other than it would have been without careful attention to the views of service users. The tool invites a proactive approach that is likely to challenge treatment cultures that are reactive, disorder-focused and consultation-based. Service user representatives will need to play central roles in training peers and clinicians in order to increase the likelihood of tool usage in line with intentions. Similarly, their influence on tool design has implications for choice of methods for evaluation. Starting down the path of service user involvement in intervention design fosters commitment to follow through in the remaining implementation and research phases. While this can be time-consuming and less meriting for researchers, it is probably vital to increasing the likelihood of success of person-centered service innovations.
    International Journal of Mental Health Systems 01/2014; 8(1):2. DOI:10.1186/1752-4458-8-2 · 1.06 Impact Factor
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    • "In recent years, the ethics of such medical paternalism have been called into question [4]. To better prepare patients for meetings with their clinician, tools have recently been developed to support shared decision making [5] [6], which is considered an ethical imperative [7]. Shared decision making is an approach in which patient and clinician are equal participants in deciding the treatment plan. "
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    ABSTRACT: The results of routine patient assessments in psychiatric healthcare in the Northern Netherlands are primarily used to support clinicians. We developed Wegweis, a web-based advice platform, to make this data accessible and understandable for patients. OBJECTIVE: We show that a fully automated explanation and interpretation of assessment results for schizophrenia patients, which prioritizes the information in the same way that a clinician would, is possible and is considered helpful and relevant by patients. The goal is not to replace the clinician but rather to function as a second perspective and to enable patient empowerment through knowledge. METHODS: We have developed and implemented an ontology-based approach for selecting and ranking information for schizophrenia patients based on their routine assessment results. Our approach ranks information by severity of associated schizophrenia-related problems and uses an ontology to decouple problems from advice, which adds robustness to the system, because advice can be inferred for problems that have no exact match. RESULTS: We created a problem ontology, validated by a group of experts, to combine and interpret the results of multiple schizophrenia-specific questionnaires. We designed and implemented a novel ontology-based algorithm for ranking and selecting advice, based on questionnaire answers. We designed, implemented, and illustrated Wegweis, a proof of concept for our algorithm, and, to the best of our knowledge, the first fully automated interpretation of assessment results for patients suffering from schizophrenia. We evaluated the system vis-à-vis the opinions of clinicians and patients in two experiments. For the task of identifying important problems based on MANSA questionnaires (the MANSA is a satisfaction questionnaire commonly used in schizophrenia assessments), our system corresponds to the opinion of clinicians 94% of the time for the first three problems and 72% of the time, overall. Patients find two out of the first three advice topics selected by the system to be relevant and roughly half of the advice topics overall. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that an approach that uses problem severities to identify important problems for a patient corresponds closely to the way a clinician thinks. Furthermore, after applying a severity threshold, the majority of advice units selected by the system are considered relevant by the patients. Our findings pave the way for the development of systems that facilitate patient-centered care for chronic illnesses by automating the sharing of assessment results between patient and clinician.
    Artificial intelligence in medicine 02/2013; 58(1). DOI:10.1016/j.artmed.2013.01.002 · 2.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mental health policy makers encourage the development of electronic decision aids to increase patient participation in medical decision making. Evidence is needed to determine whether these decision aids are helpful in clinical practice and whether they lead to increased patient involvement and better outcomes. This study reports the outcome of a randomized controlled trial and process evaluation of a Web-based intervention to facilitate shared decision making for people with psychotic disorders. The study was carried out in a Dutch mental health institution. Patients were recruited from 2 outpatient teams for patients with psychosis (N=250). Patients in the intervention condition (n=124) were provided an account to access a Web-based information and decision tool aimed to support patients in acquiring an overview of their needs and appropriate treatment options provided by their mental health care organization. Patients were given the opportunity to use the Web-based tool either on their own (at their home computer or at a computer of the service) or with the support of an assistant. Patients in the control group received care as usual (n=126). Half of the patients in the sample were patients experiencing a first episode of psychosis; the other half were patients with a chronic psychosis. Primary outcome was patient-perceived involvement in medical decision making, measured with the Combined Outcome Measure for Risk Communication and Treatment Decision-making Effectiveness (COMRADE). Process evaluation consisted of questionnaire-based surveys, open interviews, and researcher observation. In all, 73 patients completed the follow-up measurement and were included in the final analysis (response rate 29.2%). More than one-third (48/124, 38.7%) of the patients who were provided access to the Web-based decision aid used it, and most used its full functionality. No differences were found between the intervention and control conditions on perceived involvement in medical decision making (COMRADE satisfaction with communication: F1,68=0.422, P=.52; COMRADE confidence in decision: F1,67=0.086, P=.77). In addition, results of the process evaluation suggest that the intervention did not optimally fit in with routine practice of the participating teams. The development of electronic decision aids to facilitate shared medical decision making is encouraged and many people with a psychotic disorder can work with them. This holds for both first-episode patients and long-term care patients, although the latter group might need more assistance. However, results of this paper could not support the assumption that the use of electronic decision aids increases patient involvement in medical decision making. This may be because of weak implementation of the study protocol and a low response rate. Dutch Trial Register (NTR) trial number: 10340; (Archived by WebCite at
    Journal of Medical Internet Research 10/2013; 15(10):e216. DOI:10.2196/jmir.2851 · 3.43 Impact Factor
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