You are here

Encyclopedia of Medical Decision Making

Encyclopedia of Medical Decision Making

Two Volume Set
Edited by:

October 2009 | 1 280 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Decision making is a critical element in the field of medicine that can lead to life-or-death outcomes, yet it is an element fraught with complex and conflicting variables, diagnostic and therapeutic uncertainties, patient preferences and values, and costs. Together, decisions made by physicians, patients, insurers, and policymakers determine the quality of health care, quality that depends inherently on counterbalancing risks and benefits and competing objectives such as maximizing life expectancy versus optimizing quality of life or quality of care versus economic realities.

Broadly speaking, concepts in medical decision making (MDM) may be divided into two major categories: prescriptive and descriptive. Work in the area of prescriptive MDM investigates how medical decisions should be done using complicated analyses and algorithms to determine cost-effectiveness measures, prediction methods, and so on. In contrast, descriptive MDM studies how decisions actually are made involving human judgment, biases, social influences, patient factors, and so on. The Encyclopedia of Medical Decision Making gives a gentle introduction to both categories, revealing how medical and healthcare decisions are actually made—and constrained—and how physician, healthcare management, and patient decision making can be improved to optimize health outcomes.

Key Features

Discusses very general issues that span many aspects of MDM, including bioethics; health policy and economics; disaster simulation modeling; medical informatics; the psychology of decision making; shared and team medical decision making; social, moral, and religious factors; end-of-life decision making; assessing patient preference and patient adherence; and more

Incorporates both quantity and quality of life in optimizing a medical decision

Considers characteristics of the decisionmaker and how those characteristics influence their decisions

Presents outcome measures to judge the quality or impact of a medical decision

Examines some of the more commonly encountered biostatistical methods used in prescriptive decision making

Provides utility assessment techniques that facilitate quantitative medical decision making

Addresses the many different assumption perspectives the decision maker might choose from when trying to optimize a decision

Offers mechanisms for defining MDM algorithms

"Kattan's background in statistics is evident in the abundance of entries related to biostatistics, epidemiology, decision analysis, and outcomes measurement. Such content is well balanced by entries on foundational topics in evidence-based medicine and clinical decision making. All essays are carefully thorough and include applications and examples to illustrate difficult concepts.  The value of this resource outweighs its cost, particularly for health science libraries affiliated with a medical school or teaching hospital."

J. S. Jameson
University of Toledo

Select a Purchasing Option

ISBN: 9781412953726

SAGE Knowledge is the premier social sciences platform for SAGE and CQ Press book, reference and video content.

The platform allows researchers to cross-search and seamlessly access a wide breadth of must-have SAGE book and reference content from one source.