A series of conversation cards may improve patient and physician satisfaction with the discussion on choosing the right antidepressant, a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests.

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic evaluated data from 117 physicians and 301 patients from a range of Minnesota and Wisconsin communities. The use of these decision aids led to an improvement in patients’ decision-making comfort by five out of 100 points, their knowledge by 10 out of 100 points, and the likelihood of being satisfied by 2.4 fold. From the physician’s side, there was an increase in decision-making comfort by 11 points and a 1.6-fold increase in the likelihood of being satisfied. Involving patients in the decision-making process during clinical encounters increased by 16 points. The conversation aids did not impact the length of discussion, study authors added.

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The decision aids come in the form of evidence-based conversation tools that help patients and physicians use the best available information about antidepressants to address situations of the patients using the medicine. Researchers added that these decision-making aids can help both parties reach a more informed, patient-centered choice.

Improving the process in choosing an antidepressant, and making both parties feel more comfortable in the choice, is “a step toward more effectively treating depression in the future,” stated Annie LeBlanc, PhD, the study’s first author. She added that the conversation tool and the related three minutes of training are available online for free.

For more information visit MayoClinic.org.