An evidence-based approach to theories of medical decision making and health

December 11, 2008

Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore and Washington DC (December 11, 2008) As a way to help both the sick and their medical care providers to make the best healthcare decisions possible, a special section of the current November/December 2008 issue of Medical Decision Making examines three current evidenced-based theories that can help to improve assessments, assist in prevention programs, and help with intervention efforts.

The special section sprang from a symposium at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Medical Decision Making (SMDM). The authors have gone beyond their symposium addresses to summarize the major findings and rationale for each of their positions, showing that it's important to make medical decisions based on an array of available scientific theories instead of "on the fly." The special section contains five articles, three of which each examine a different theory, along with an introductory and closing commentary article: "Ignoring evidence-based theory is no longer defensible in medical decision making, regardless of whether the focus is on research or on practical applications," writes the guest editor, Valerie F. Reyna in the introductory article. "It is essential to make research available to people in ways that they can use and theories that illuminate underlying decision processes provide the essential bridge between research advances and health outcomes."
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The five articles in the special section of Medical Decision Making are freely available at http://mdm.sagepub.com. Medical Decision Making (MDM), the official journal of the Society for Medical Decision Making, publishes articles designed to improve the health and clinical care of individuals and to assist with health policy development. Presenting theoretical, statistical, and modeling methods from a variety of disciplines, including decision psychology, health economics, clinical epidemiology, and evidence synthesis, the journal promotes understanding of human decision-making processes so that individuals can make more informed and satisfying choices regarding their health. http://mdm.sagepub.com/

SAGE is a leading international publisher of journals, books, and electronic media for academic, educational, and professional markets. Since 1965, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students spanning a wide range of subject areas including business, humanities, social sciences, and science, technology, and medicine. An independent company, SAGE has principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore and Washington DC. www.sagepublications.com

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