How information about other people's personal experiences can help with healthcare decision-making: a qualitative study

Entwistle, V., France, E., Wyke, S. , Jepson, R., Hunt, K. , Ziebland, S. and Thompson, A. (2011) How information about other people's personal experiences can help with healthcare decision-making: a qualitative study. Patient Education and Counseling, 85(3), e291-e298. (doi:10.1016/j.pec.2011.05.014)

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Abstract

<b>Objective</b> To investigate people's views of using ‘general facts’ and information about other people's ‘personal experiences’ for health-related decision-making. <b>Methods</b> Sixty-two people, who between them had experience of five different focal health issues, participated in 12 focus groups and 9 interviews. Exploration of uses of the two types of information was supported by discussion of illustrative excerpts. <b>Results</b> There was less discussion of ‘general facts’; participants thought it obvious that good decisions required these. Participants reported having used ‘personal experiences’ information to: recognise decisions that needed consideration; identify options; appraise options and make selections (including by developing and reflecting on their reasoning about possible choices); and support coping strategies. Their inclination to use ‘personal experiences’ information was apparently moderated by assessments of personal relevance, the motives of information providers and the ‘balance’ of experiences presented. <b>Conclusion</b> People can use ‘personal experiences’ information in various ways to support their decision-making, and exercise some discrimination as they do. <b>Practice implications</b> ‘Personal experiences’ information may help people in a number of ways in relation to decision-making. However, ‘personal experiences’ information does not replace the need for ‘general facts’ and care should be taken when it is used in resources for patients.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wyke, Professor Sally and Hunt, Professor Kate
Authors: Entwistle, V., France, E., Wyke, S., Jepson, R., Hunt, K., Ziebland, S., and Thompson, A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Social Scientists working in Health and Wellbeing
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Patient Education and Counseling
ISSN:0738-3991
ISSN (Online):1873-5134
Published Online:08 June 2011

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