Exploring patient priorities could cut health costs

Although many doctors think they already incorporate patient preference into treatment recommendations, the authors said the evidence was high for ‘preference misdiagnosis’ with gaps between what patients want and what doctors think they want.

In one study doctors believed 71% of patients with breast cancer rated keeping their breast as a top priority but the figure reported by patients was just 7%.

In a study of dementia, patients placed substantially less value than doctors on survival when they had severely declining cognitive function.

When patients were well informed they frequently changed their treatment decisions, said the authors from the Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science in the US.

Research involving patients with benign prostate disease found 40% fewer patients preferred surgery once they were told about the risk of sexual dysfunction.

“Evidence from trials shows that engaged patients