The large diversity of available drugs, their side-effects and lack of information about the right medication can make choosing an antidepressant a very difficult task for patients.
New trial from Mayo Clinic, published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal shows that both patient’s and physician’s satisfaction about choosing the right antidepressant can increase by using a simple series of conversation cards, as researcher Annie LeBlanc explains:
“We worked closely with patients, their families, and clinicians to fully understand what really matters to them when confronted with this situation. We wanted to transform the too-often unavailable evidence into accurate, easily accessible information to be used within the context of each person’s needs and preferences, ultimately creating what we hope to be meaningful conversations.”
Study evaluated information from 117 physicians and 301 patients from a Minnesota and Wisconsin. By using decision aid as a conversation tool, study findings showed that the new method increased patients’ comfort in making decisions, as well as their final satisfaction. The conversation tools seem to help patients and their doctors to better address specific situations and to be better informed on the patient’s needs.
Researchers believe that by improving the process of selecting specific antidepressant medication will allow both parties to feel more comfortable and overall to move closer to more effectively treat depression.
Dr. LeBlanc concludes: “High value health-care involves aligning the care we give patients with their values, preferences, and life circumstances, alongside the best evidence available for that care. This tool is but one way we can effectively approach the ideal of patient-centered care for patients with depression. And, with limited cost and burden to the system, this tool and its associated three minutes of training are available free on-line.”