ACHC-RISC symposium “Decision aids and vulnerable groups”

On Friday 25 November 2022, the Amsterdam Center of Health Communication (ACHC) and RISC Amsterdam organized a joint symposium “Decision aids and vulnerable groups”. Nearly 100 participants from practice and academia attended (e.g., decision aid developers, researchers, clinicians, and patient representatives).

Twelve presentations provided an overview of the obstacles experienced by people in vulnerable situations when using decision aids. Various decision aids were discussed, such as decision aids that are used together with a healthcare provider and decision aids used independently, for example, about cancer screening participation. Furthermore, different parts of decision aids were discussed, for example, benefit/harm information presentation formats, the use of animations/videos, and value clarification methods. Also, the obstacles that healthcare providers face in shared decision-making with vulnerable patients were highlighted (e.g., how to identify vulnerable patients, using an interpreter, decision aids that are not suitable for the patient, etc.).

One of the main lesson learned is that we see a shift from doctor-/research-driven effect evaluations of decision aids to co-creation with the target group, including people from vulnerable groups. Furthermore, risk communication is important, but may be expanded to include information about the treatment burden and what options mean for patients’ daily life. Last but not least, decision aids are not the answer to but a starting point for shared decision making. The timing of introducing a decision aid, the place within shared decision-making (it is a process!), and the conversation with healthcare professionals require more attention from both practice and academia.

The symposium was sponsored by KWF, APH Quality of Care and NeFCA. 

For those interested, PowerPoint presentations will become available around December 8th, 2022 at ACHC.