Patients’ medical decisions benefit from DVD guidance

An evidence-based video that reviews the pros and cons of back surgery to treat a herniated disk can help patients learn more about their condition and make medical decisions in line with their goals and preferences, said a study published Aug. 16 in Spine.

The 38-minute DVD was part of a tool known as a patient decision aid. These are videos, booklets and other materials designed to supplement face-to-face physician counseling on complex medical choices. The tools encourage patients to interpret the best available evidence in light of their care goals and often include stories from other patients to provide meaningful context about likely outcomes.

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