Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

A patient decision aid to support shared decision-making on anti-thrombotic treatment of patients with atrial fibrillation: Randomised controlled trial

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Richard Thomson, Professor Martin Eccles, Dr Nick Steen, Jane Greenaway, Dr Lynne Stobbart, Professor Madeleine Murtagh, Professor Carl May


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


Objective: To determine the efficacy of a computerised decision aid in patients with atrial fibrillation making decisions on whether to take warfarin or aspirin therapy. Design: Two-armed open exploratory randomised controlled trial. Setting: Two research clinics deriving participants from general practices in Northeast England. Participants: 109 patients with atrial fibrillation aged over 60. Interventions: Computerised decision aid applied in shared decision-making clinic compared to evidence-based paper guidelines applied as direct advice. Main outcome measures: Primary outcome measure was the decision conflict scale. Secondary outcome measures included anxiety, knowledge, decision-making preference, treatment decision, use of primary and secondary care services and health outcomes. Results: Decision conflict was lower in the computerised decision aid group immediately after the clinic; mean difference -0.18 (95% CI -0.34 to -0.01). Participants in this group not already on warfarin were much less likely to start warfarin than those in the guidelines arm (4/16, 25% compared to the guidelines group 15/16, 93.8%, RR 0.27, 95% CI 0.11 to 0.63). Conclusions: Decision conflict was lower immediately following the use of a computerised decision aid in a shared decision-making consultation than immediately following direct doctor-led advice based on paper guidelines. Furthermore, participants in the computerised decision aid group were significantly much less likely to start warfarin than those in the guidelines arm. The results show that such an approach has a positive impact on decision conflict comparable to other studies of decision aids, but also reduces the uptake of a clinically effective treatment that may have important implications for health outcomes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Thomson RG, Eccles MP, Steen IN, Greenaway J, Stobbart L, Murtagh MJ, May CR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Quality and Safety in Health Care

Year: 2007

Volume: 16

Issue: 3

Pages: 216-223

ISSN (print): 1475-3898

ISSN (electronic): 1475-3901

Publisher: BMJ Group


DOI: 10.1136/qshc.2006.018481

PubMed id: 17545350


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name
065131Wellcome Trust
068380Wellcome Trust