Assessment of Decisional Conflict about the Treatment of Trigger Finger, Comparing Patients and Physicians

Document Type : RESEARCH PAPER


1 Yawkey Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA

2 Chief Orthopaedic Hand Service, Yawkey Center, Suite 2100, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, USA


As an early step in the development of a decision aid for idiopathic trigger finger (TF) we were interested in the level of decisional conflict experienced by patients and hand surgeons. This study tested the null hypothesis that there is no difference in decisional conflict between patients with one or more idiopathic trigger fingers and hand surgeons. Secondary analyses address the differences between patients and surgeons regarding the influence of the DCS-subcategories on the level of decisional conflict, as well as the influence of patient and physician demographics, the level of self-efficacy, and satisfaction with care on decisional conflict.
One hundred and five hand surgeon-members of the Science of Variation Group (SOVG) and 84 patients with idiopathic TF completed the survey regarding the Decisional Conflict Scale. Patients also filled out the Pain Self-efficacy Questionnaire (PSEQ) and the Patient Doctor Relationship Questionnaire (PDRQ-9).
On average, patients had decisional conflict comparable to physicians, but by specific category patients felt less informed and supported than physicians. The only factors associated with greater decisional conflict was the relationship between the patient and doctor.
There is a low, but measurable level of decisional conflict among patients and surgeons regarding idiopathic trigger finger. Studies testing the ability of decision aids to reduce decisional conflict and improve patient empowerment and satisfaction with care are merited.


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