Objectives To develop and validate a values clarification tool, the Short Graphic Values History Tool (GVHT), designed to support person-centred decision making during serious illness.
Methods The development phase included input from experts and laypersons and assessed acceptability with patients/family members. In the validation phase, we recruited additional participants into a before–after study. Our primary validation hypothesis was that the tool would reduce scores on the Decisional Conflict Scale (DCS) at 1–2 weeks of follow-up. Our secondary validation hypotheses were that the tool would improve values clarity (reduce scores) more than other DCS subscales and increase engagement in advance care planning (ACP) processes related to identification and discussion of one’s values.
Results In the development phase, the tool received positive overall ratings from 22 patients/family members in hospital (mean score 4.3; 1=very poor; 5=very good) and family practice (mean score 4.5) settings. In the validation phase, we enrolled 157 patients (mean age 71.8 years) from family practice, cancer clinic and hospital settings. After tool completion, decisional conflict decreased (−6.7 points, 95% CI −11.1 to −2.3, p=0.003; 0–100 scale; N=100), with the most improvement seen in the values clarity subscale (−10.0 points, 95% CI −17.3 to −2.7, p=0.008; N=100), and the ACP-Values process score increased (+0.4 points, 95% CI 0.2 to 0.6, p=0.001; 1–5 scale; N=61).
Conclusions The Short GVHT is acceptable to end users and has some measure of validity. Further study to evaluate its impact on decision making during serious illness is warranted.
- clinical decisions
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Contributors All authors contributed to the design of the work, or the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data. JJY drafted the manuscript and all authors revised it critically for important intellectual content. All authors gave final approval of the version of the manuscript submitted for publication. JJY agrees to be accountable for all aspects of the work and ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.
Funding This work was supported by research grants from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the Canadian Frailty Network (core research grants 2013-30, 2013-13A), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (PHE-135930) and the British Columbia Cancer Foundation.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Ethics approval This study received full approval from the health research ethics board of each participating site, and all participants provided written, informed consent.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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