12 Apr Clinicians Describe Difficulties in Using Life Expectancy To Inform Medical Decisions
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Nancy L. Schoenborn, MD
Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Schoenborn: A growing body of research recommend that clinicians should consider patients’ life expectancy in a number of clinical decisions, but it is not clear how primary care clinicians approach these recommendations. We interviewed primary care clinicians to understand their perspectives on this topic.
We found that clinicians describe a number of barriers and ambiguities in using long-term life expectancy to inform medical decisions; they also varied widely in their approaches to assess and to discuss life expectancy.
MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Schoenborn: Patients and their clinicians need to consider a wide variety of factors when deciding whether a particular test or treatment is right for a person. One important piece of information to think about is how long patients may expect to live. Discussing life expectancy can be difficult or uncomfortable.
The next steps in our research focus on learning more about patients’ preferences when it comes to discussing life expectancy. We hope that this research helps open the door on the conversation.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
Schoenborn NL, Bowman TL, II, Cayea D, Pollack C, Feeser S, Boyd C. Primary Care Practitioners’ Views on Incorporating Long-term Prognosis in the Care of Older Adults.JAMA Intern Med. Published online April 11, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.0670.
Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.