The aim of the study is to deepen the understanding of how patients with lower spine disorders, general practitioners (GPs), physiotherapists and hospital doctors make decisions about treatment. The results will be utilized in the development of a decision support tool aided by artificial intelligence.
Spinal disorders are known as the leading cause of non-fatal health loss worldwide for nearly three decades. Personalized medicine is a new paradigm of healthcare in which interventions are based on individual patient characteristics rather than on a “one-size-fits-all” approach.
In this new paradigm, the decision-making process about treatment alternatives becomes of prime importance. Decision aid tools are an innovation on the rise and this study will be part of a larger cluster of projects that develop decision aid tools for the treatment of lower spine disorders.
The current PhD project will deepen our understanding of the psychosocial health context of decision making where clinical decision tools are to be applied. Hence, the aim of the study is to understand how patients with lower spine disorders, general practitioners, physiotherapists, and hospital doctors involved, make decisions about treatment.
This is a study of distributed decision making. Patients, general practitioners, physiotherapists, and hospital doctors will be interviewed about the decision-making process. Patients will be asked about their experiences of the clinical and social context of the decision-making process, GPs and PTs will be asked about how they gather information to make decisions of treatment and referrals, and hospital doctors will be asked how they apply clinical guidelines, interdisciplinary meetings and patient preferences in their decision making.
The results will be presented in three papers.
- An analysis of how evidence is applied in the decision-making process in the treatment of lower spine disorders.
- An analysis of how psychosocial, institutional, cultural, and other contextual factors are perceived as important in the decision-making process.
- An analysis of how the different stakeholders involved interact with and perceive each other in the decision-making process. Additionally, preliminarily results will be implemented in the development of a decision aid tool for patients and health service providers.