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Research on shared medical decision-making suggested that both the potency of a treatment and the probability of it being successful influence individual treatment preferences. Patients also need to consider the negative attributes of treatments, such as the occurrence of adverse effects or a slow start to the therapeutic effects. It remains unclear how these attributes influence individual treatment preferences. We investigated how the analgesic effect, the adverse effect, and the time-course effect influenced the preference of analgesic treatments. Forty-five healthy volunteers participated in three hypothetical analgesic decision-making tasks. They were instructed to imagine that they were experiencing pain and choose between two hypothetical analgesic treatments: the more potent radical treatment and the less potent conservative treatment. The potency of a treatment was countered by the following attributes: the probability of working successfully, the probability of inducing an adverse effect, and the time required for the treatment to reach its maximal effect. We found that (a) when the overall probability that a treatment would induce an adverse effect decreased, the participants changed their preference from a conservative treatment to a radical treatment; (b) when the time-course for a treatment to reach its maximal effect was shortened, the participants changed their preference from a conservative treatment to a radical treatment, and (c) individual differences in prior clinical pain and the degree of imagined pain relief were associated with preferences. The findings showed that the adverse effects and the time course of treatments guide the analgesic treatment preferences, highlighting the importance of sharing information about negative attributes of treatments in pain management. The findings imply that patients may over-emphasize the occurrence of adverse effect or a slow time-course of treatment effect. In terms of shared medical decision-making, clinicians should clarify these negative attributes related to treatment to patients.




C.-S., L., S.-Y., W., & L.-T., W. (2015). Preferences for analgesic treatments are influenced by probability of the occurrence of adverse effects and the time to reach maximal therapeutic effects. PLoS ONE, 10(6). LK  -

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