Saturday, September 28, 2013

Health Care Decision Making: The Freakonomics Option

With the emphasis today on patient centered care, many patients and their families struggle with the tough decisions of whether to treat or not, which treatment options may be the best choice etc. etc. It’s important to note, that while many times patients are told they have options, they often only receive detailed information about one approach, which is usually the one the provider prefers or uses. Research shows that when patients/families are given relevant information about all treatment options, they make very different choices than what providers would have predicted.  “The Cost of Assuming Doctors Know Best” 

I’ve written quite a bit about choices in care, because it’s something that people think about and worry about. Remember you always have at least two options-not doing anything is an option. The summary post Decision Making/Choices in Care includes a variety of resources, as well as what I now see is probably way more information than you might be interested in. However, the strategies and resources for decision-making are valid so check them out.

What if you’ve considered things from every possible angle and you still don’t know what to do? Should I have surgery? Should I get a second opinion?  Is my roommate part of my problem, so should I move? You’ve talked with your provider, your family and friends and quite frankly you just can’t make up your mind. So you might want to consider the FreakonomicExperiment

If you aren’t familiar with Freakonomics, this is the title of a book written by a New York Times Magazine journalist Steven D. Levitt Reporter and an award winning economist Stephen J. Dubner. The subtitle of their book, blog, website, and just about everything else they do is “The hidden side of everything.” 

Back in January,Freakonomics Experiments was launched- Sometimes in life you face a major decision, and you just don’t know what to do. You’ve considered the issue from every angle. But no matter how you look at it, no decision seems to be the right decision. 

In the end, whatever you choose will essentially be a flip of a coin. 

Help us by letting Freakonomics Experiments flip that coin for you. 

They provide preset questions for education (e.g. should I go to college), family, health, home, just for fun, and relationships. The seventh category allows you to create your own questions and pick what will be head and tails.

To help answer your questions about this approach to decision making, check out the Freakonomics Q and A section.

Several weeks ago, I wrote Ten Things to Learn from Diana Nyad’s Swim.  On Thursday, Nyad wrote a piece for the Huffington Post Cuba: 3 Weeks Later. It’s very interesting to read how she feels incredible relief “of not living with the unrelenting drive.” The contentment for me today does not come from "what I am getting," to paraphrase Thoreau. [What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals] I am profoundly happy to in fact be this person who is bold, who is fearless, who has no regrets, no matter how many failures piled up on the way to the final, dazed, magical moment on that beach.

No comments:

Post a Comment