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Decision Analysis in SHared decision making for Thromboprophylaxis during Pregnancy (DASH-TOP): a sequential explanatory mixed-methods pilot study


Objectives To gain insight into formal methods of integrating patient preferences and clinical evidence to inform treatment decisions, we explored patients’ experience with a personalised decision analysis intervention, for prophylactic low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) in the antenatal period.

Design Mixed-methods explanatory sequential pilot study.

Setting Hospitals in Canada (n=1) and Spain (n=4 sites). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we conducted part of the study virtually.

Participants 15 individuals with a prior venous thromboembolism who were pregnant or planning pregnancy and had been referred for counselling regarding LMWH.

Intervention A shared decision-making intervention that included three components: (1) direct choice exercise; (2) preference elicitation exercises and (3) personalised decision analysis.

Main outcome measures Participants completed a self-administered questionnaire to evaluate decision quality (decisional conflict, self-efficacy and satisfaction). Semistructured interviews were then conducted to explore their experience and perceptions of the decision-making process.

Results Participants in the study appreciated the opportunity to use an evidence-based decision support tool that considered their personal values and preferences and reported feeling more prepared for their consultation. However, there were mixed reactions to the standard gamble and personalised treatment recommendation. Some participants could not understand how to complete the standard gamble exercises, and others highlighted the need for more informative ways of presenting results of the decision analysis.

Conclusion Our results highlight the challenges and opportunities for those who wish to incorporate decision analysis to support shared decision-making for clinical decisions.

  • haematology
  • maternal medicine
  • thromboembolism
  • clinical decision-making
  • methods

Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request.

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