Dr. Martin presents research on improving communication of infection risks from DMARDs

1009 RA patients who receive care at West Michigan Rheumatology participated in a randomized controlled trial evaluating variations of a decision scenario where they were asked to consider switching DMARDs.  The format of risk and safety information were derived from an existing DMARD patient decision aid  used in the clinic in daily practice at WMR.  We are one of a few rheumatology centers  in North America that have implemented patient decision aids in routine clinical care. The results of the experiment found that when presented with the risk of having an infection as a complication of therapy, RA patients differentiated poorly between the riskiness of a low vs. high risk DMARD.   In addition, they found that by presenting safety monitoring procedures simultaneously with infection risk information, this intensified patient deliberation of risk and lead to more conservative patient medication decisions.  This supports the use of patient decision aids to help patients participate more fulling in treatment decisions.  The research is a collaboration between Drs. Martin, Head and Eggebeen with Calvin College experimental psychologist Dr. Don Tellinghuisen.  

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