Videos Prior to Spine Surgery Aid, Strengthen Patient Choices

Patients make balanced, unbiased decision after watching evidence-based video decision aid

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Watching an evidence-based videotape decision aid helps patients with lumbar spine disorders form and/or strengthen a treatment preference in a balanced, unbiased way, according to a study published online Aug. 15 in Spine.

Jon D. Lurie, M.D., from the Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, N.H., and colleagues evaluated the changes in treatment preference before and after watching a video decision aid in the Spine Patient Outcomes Research Trial (SPORT). A total of 2,505 patients with intervertebral disc herniation, spinal stenosis, or degenerative spondylolisthesis were enrolled in the study, of which 2,151 watched the video and 354 did not.

The investigators found that patients who watched the video changed their preference significantly more often than those who did not watch (37.9 versus 20.8 percent), and they more frequently showed a strengthened preference (26.2 versus 11.1 percent). There were preference changes in 806 patients after watching the video, with 55 percent of them shifting toward surgery. There were 617 patients who did not initially have a treatment preference but, after watching the video, 22 percent of these patients preferred surgery, 27 percent preferred nonsurgical care, and 51 percent remained unsure.

"After watching the evidence-based patient decision aid (video) used in SPORT, patients with specific lumbar spine disorders formed and/or strengthened their treatment preferences in a balanced way that did not appear biased toward or away from surgery," the authors write.

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