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Decision Sciences

Decision science studies how people make choices and how they can make better choices using current knowledge, recognizing the presence of uncertainty, complexity, and competing values and trade-offs.

This contrasts to most fields of health research, which focus on producing new knowledge—through better evidence and new treatments and technologies. Many methods of decision science have been developed in other disciplines, such as business, transportation, and the military, but many of these techniques have yet to be fully exploited in health care.

Program Head: Dr. Nick Bansback

Our team of decision scientists: develop simulations that enable decision-makers to understand the influence of new system designs; elicit patient preferences using discrete choice experiments and other procedures to understand what really matters most to patients; and develop interactive decision aids that help clinicians to make informed shared decisions with their patients. The team is also experienced in network meta-analyses, a growing methodology in comparative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness research to maximize clinical trials evidence.

The demand from decision-makers for data on how to implement personalized medicine into the public system is increasing. In response to innovation in the personalized medicine field, CHÉOS investigators are focused on evaluating drugs and surveillance tools that incorporate genetic information, as well as investigating barriers to the uptake of personalized medicine in clinical practice. Patients are becoming increasingly more involved in their health care, and there is a growing demand for individualized genetic information.

The primary research and methodology areas our decision sciences program undertakes are:

Development of Patient Decision Aids

  • Development of a patient decision aid for obstructive sleep apnea (Publication Link)
  • Development of a PROMs-based decision aid for total knee arthroplasty – ongoing

Simulation Modelling to Support System Redesign

Engaging the Patient Through Personalized Medicine

  • The effect of direct-to-consumer genetic tests on anticipated affect and health-seeking behaviours: A pilot survey (Publication Link)
  • DECIDE: A decision support tool to facilitate parents’ choices regarding genome-wide sequencing (Publication Link)
  • Diabetes Interdisciplinary Research on Epidemiology, Costs, and Treatment (DIRECT) to optimize patient outcomes and inform policy (Project Page)
  • De-escalation of therapy for pediatric medulloblastoma: Trade-offs between quality of life and survival (Publication Link)

Determining How Patients Value Different Aspects of Their Health and Treatment

  • The importance of “new” vs. “old” treatments – ongoing
  • How important mode of administration is to patients (Publication Link)

Systematic Reviews and (Network) Meta-Analysis

  • Outcomes associated with treatments for opioid-dependent individuals: A network meta-analysis – ongoing
  • The incidence of co-morbidities related to obesity and overweight: A systematic review and meta-analysis (Publication Link)
  • Systematic review of cost-effectiveness analyses of treatments for psoriasis (Publication Link)

Health research in the heart of Vancouver