Pioneer Memorial Clinic in Heppner is one of four Oregon Rural Health Clinics  participating in a study through the Oregon Rural Practice-Based Research Network (ORPRN) through Oregon Health & Science University.

The study, called Shared Decision-Making in Rural Primary Care, explores the best ways to use informative materials to help patients make complex medical decisions about their care in partnership with their physicians.

The study is funded through grants by the Boston-based Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making.  According to a press release issued by the foundation, each year it funds organizations that it believes have the greatest commitment to patient-centered care and the infrastructure to make decision aids part of daily medical practice.  Each grant covers demonstration site activities for three years.  The decision aid materials consist of booklets and DVDs that are created with the assistance of medical experts in each specialty and thoroughly review a patient’s options and include real patients discussing their choices.

Pioneer Memorial Clinic began participating in the study in January under the direction of Dr. Betsy Anderson, with the clinic’s other providers and staff also taking part.  Sue Thompson, RN, is serving as the data coordinator for the study at the clinic.  The three areas of Decision Aid study at Pioneer Memorial Clinic are Treatment Choices for Coronary Artery Disease, Living with Diabetes and Living Better with Chronic Pain. Patients with a diagnosis of one of the conditions are asked if they would like to take part in the study. Those who agree watch a DVD and read a booklet on their diagnosis topic that provides information about the condition and discusses various treatment options. They then decide if they want to follow up with a doctor to discuss the treatment options or not.  The patient also completes a survey about the materials and those survey results are compiled into reports along with data from participants at the other ORPRN clinics at Winding Waters Clinic in Enterprise, Bayshore Family Medicine in Pacific City and Lincoln City Medical Center.  The Oregon results will then be compiled with those from participating clinics across the country.

As of mid-July, 24 Pioneer Memorial Clinic patients had participated in the study.  Of those patients, 45 percent reported their overall rating of the materials was Very Good ,while 35 percent said it was Good, 18 percent said it was Excellent and five percent rated it as fair.  The remaining three percent left the question blank.  “People have been happy with the information in the booklets and the DVDs. Everyone usually learns something new, and it’s a great opportunity to talk to the doctor again about any new information or questions,” said Dr. Anderson.

The Oregon Rural Practice-Based Research Network (ORPRN) was founded in 2002 and is a collaboration between Oregon Health & Science University, the participating primary care clinicians and their practices.  The mission of ORPRN is to improve the health of rural populations in Oregon through conducting and promoting health research in partnership with the communities and practitioners they serve.

“We are pleased to be working with rural primary care practices like those in ORPRN,”   says Michael Barry, M.D., President of the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making.

“They are committed to changing the face of healthcare by inviting patients to play an active role, working with their providers, in deciding what care is best for them.”

Many other decision aid topics are available, Anderson says.  “Our clinic also has decision aids for a wide variety of conditions besides the three used in the study.  People are encouraged to view them to learn more about the conditions and treatment options.” The clinic received two portable DVD players as part of the study and anyone interested may view these materials in the clinic conference room, she added.  The other Decision Aid topics available at the clinic are:

  • Early Breast Cancer:  Hormone Therapy & Chemotherapy – Are They right for You?
  • Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer:  Making the Journey Your Own
  • Early Stage Breast Cancer:  Choosing Your Surgery
  • DCIS: Choosing Your Treatment (Breast Cancer)
  • Breast Reconstruction:  Is it Right for You?
  • Treatment Choices for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
  • IS a PSA Test Right for You?
  • Treatment Choices for Prostate Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer – Hormone Therapy
  • Treatment Choices for Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
  • Treatment Choices for Uterine Fibroids
  • Managing Menopause:  Choosing Treatments for Menopause Symptoms
  • Treatment Choices for Coronary Artery Disease
  • Living with Coronary Heart Disease
  • Living Better with Chronic Pain
  • Living with Diabetes:  Making Lifestyle Changes to Last a Lifetime
  • Colon Cancer Screening:  Deciding What’s Right for You
  • Coping with Symptoms of Depression
  • Chronic Low Back Pain:  Managing Your Pain and Your Life
  • Spinal Stenosis: Treating Low Back and Leg Symptoms
  • Herniated Disc: Choosing the Right Treatment for You
  • Treatment Choices for Hip Osteoarthritis
  • Treatment Choices for Knee Osteoarthritis
  • Acute Low Back Pain:  Managing Your Pain through Self-Care
  • Getting the Healthcare That’s Right for You
  • Looking Ahead: Choices for Medical Care When You’re Seriously Ill
  • Weight Loss Surgery:  Is it Right for You?

To view the materials, or for more information, please contact Pioneer Memorial Clinic at 541-676-5504.

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