Decisions about back pain treatment are often made in the presence of both physician and patient uncertainty. Therefore, we developed a computerized, interactive video program to help patients make informed decisions about undergoing low back surgery. Program development was guided by the shared decision-making model, a comprehensive literature synthesis, information from administrative databases, and focus groups of patients and physicians. Core segments are tailored to each patient's age and diagnosis; and include a narrative, excerpts from patient interviews, animated graphics illustrating spinal anatomy, and tabular summaries of the benefits and risks of both surgical and non-surgical treatment. As part of a multifocal information dissemination effort, interactive videodiscs were placed in five medical facilities in two Washington State counties. Patients (N = 239) who viewed the video program completed short evaluation forms. The majority rated the video's understandability (84%) and interest (64%) as very good or excellent. Most patients felt the amount of information provided was appropriate (75%) and over half (56%) believed the discussion of surgical versus non-surgical treatment was completely balanced. Fewer patients (17%) remained undecided about therapy after watching the program than before (29%). We conclude that interactive videodisc technology offers substantial promise as a means of involving patients in their own medical decision making.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Medicine