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Development of decision aid on health help-seeking for medical students

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Lisa Straw Bridge, Shona Mackie, Nikita Bharath, Bar Shahaf-oren, Ira Madan, Claire Henderson

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-199
Number of pages9
JournalOccupational Medicine
Issue number3
Early online date10 Jan 2022
Accepted/In press2 Dec 2021
E-pub ahead of print10 Jan 2022
Published19 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright: © 2022 The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Occupational Medicine. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email:

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BACKGROUND: Rates of mental health problems are increasing among medical students, who have added pressures compared with non-medical students. Medical student populations exhibit low rates of help-seeking and often struggle with disclosing health conditions due to the barriers experienced and concerns over negative repercussions. AIMS: This study aimed to create and test the feasibility and potential efficacy of an online decision aid (DA) tool that provides medical students with resources for disclosing and help-seeking for their health concerns. METHODS: The research used mixed methods, comprising two rounds of testing, the first used the Think-Aloud method to identify modifications needed, and both of which measured feasibility and assessed decision making outcomes pre and post use of the DA utilizing O'Connor's Decisional Conflict Scale (DCS) (2010) and Stage of Decision Making (SDM) (2003) measures. RESULTS: Results showed good feasibility of the DA. The mean DCS total score decreased from 32 to 16.75, (Wilcoxon signed-rank tests Z = -3.06, P < 0.05). There was no significant change in the SDM. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that the DA may reduce decisional conflict, improving their certainty and confidence in decision making, but had no immediate impact on their SDM, consistent with some other DAs. Further longitudinal research would be beneficial.

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