“What matters most to you?” How decision aids help patients make better choices

You might never have heard of a decision aid, but there’s good evidence from a newly updated Cochrane review that they can help people facing decisions about treatment or screening feel better informed about the options and clearer about what matters most to them. This blog looks at what the review found and how decision aids could help to avoid situations like that described by Joanna, who talked to me about her experiences of making a decision about colostomy surgery. Continue reading

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Texting for health: updated Cochrane review finds long-term effectiveness of mobile phone interventions to help people stop smoking

Key message: This review update has been able to show that interventions delivered via mobile phones can help people give up smoking and that these benefits are sustained at least six months later.

There is an increasing amount of interest in the medical press and beyond in ‘telehealth’, the use of technologies such as mobile phones and the internet to help in the prevention or management of a range of health conditions, and rightly, for it offers a potentially cost-saving means to reach large numbers of people. Continue reading