Dr. Nick Bansback has received a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) New Investigator award. This five-year award will enable Dr. Bansback to continue his research related to the improvement of patient outcomes through the use of educational decision tools that help empower patients to be more involved in their treatment choices. Doctors can use these decision tools to help understand what aspects of treatment options are most important to them, and then prescribe the most appropriate treatment.
Dr. Nick Bansback
Current trends in healthcare underscore the need to incorporate decision tools. “Studies have found that doctors frequently prescribe treatments that their patients do not believe is right for them. Sometimes this is about being misinformed, but other times it’s a value question – some patients might think the risk of side effects are too high or the frequency a medication needs to be used is too much,” says Dr. Bansback. His research will test whether decision tools can help reduce intentional non-adherence to treatment by better aligning the option that best matches the patient”s values.
“My belief is that if we engage patients in appropriate health decisions, we can improve health, and potentially reduce costs to the health care system. But we have a long way to go,” says Dr. Bansback. “A recent Commonwealth report put Canada near the bottom of Western health care systems for how well they engage patients in care.”
by Bryan Nordley