Health Decision Sciences Center

The latest news, events and publications from the Health Decision Sciences Center at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Upcoming Events

A series of talks are offered at the Blum Patient and Family Learning Center to promote active and shared decision making between patients and clinicians at Massachusetts General Hospital. Open to Mass General staff, patients and the general public, the monthly talks are held from 12 to 1 pm and feature a video followed by a question and answer session from a Mass General staff expert. No registration needed. Call 617-724-7352.








Blum sessions will return in September 2015!

See all event information 

Recent Events

HDSC Directors Attend International Decision Making Conference
In July 2015, Leigh Simmons, MD (Medical Director of HDSC) and Karen Sepucha, PhD (Director of HDSC) attended the International Shared Decision Making conference held in Sydney, Australia. Drs. Simmons and Sepucha presented on the current work being done at MGH and brought back their experiences learning about all that is emerging on medical decision making across the world.

Dr. Simmons and Dr. Sepucha at ISDM

Graduate School Project Completed at HDSC
Alexis Donnaruma, a Master of Public Health student at Tufts University School of Medicine, recently completed her graduate project in the Health Decision Sciences Center. Her project aimed to understand patient preferences for the format of decision aids, given that the HDSC has a DVD/booklet or an online format available to patients. Using a mixed methods approach (surveys and interviews with patients), she was able to make recommendations to the HDSC regarding the use of online decision aids. She presented her project to faculty and students at Tufts Medical school (pictured here), as well as to the HDSC team at a separate time.

Alexis Presenting at Tufts

HDSC Staff Presents at MGH's Clinical Research Day
On October 9th, 2014, staff from the Health Decision Sciences Center presented findings on some of our current projects. Every year, the MGH community celebrates the wide variety of research being conducted. This year, over 300 posters were presented. HDSC staff enjoyed speaking with many MGH clinicians and staff about our projects in urgent care/acute low back pain, orthopedics, and gynecology.


Shared Decision Making Across the Atlantic
More than a dozen senior leaders from the UK's National Health Service came to MGH for a site visit in June to learn more about shared decision making and patient engagement. Dr. Sree Chaguturu discussed how these activities fit into Partners' Population Health Management strategy. Then, the NHS leaders visited with the APF and with colleagues from Orthopedics to learn about care redesign efforts to improve patient engagement and use of decision aids. This was a great opportunity for all involved to learn more about best practices for shared decision making in the UK and in the US.

Recent News

HDSC Newsletters
The HDSC compiles quarterly newsletters to update the MGH/Partners community

Shared Decision Making is Featured in MGH Magazine
Karen Sepucha, PhD and Leigh Simmons, MD are featured in December 2014 issue of MGH Magazine

Physicians' Perception of SDM and Menopause Symptom Management
Sorapop Kiatpongsan, MD, PhD, presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine's annual conference on physician perception of SDM and menopause symptom management

7 Ways to Make Doctor Visits More Successful
Karen Sepucha, PhD, Director of the HDSC, quoted in Harvard Health Letter (July 2014) and reprinted in Buffalo News

For Better Treatment, Doctors and Patients Share Decisions
NPR series featuring Karen Sepucha, PhD, Director of the HDSC, and Leigh Simmons, MD, HDSC Medical Director

The Aligning Incentives Statement
A statement supporting the advancement of patient and family engagement through shared decision making.

Decision Quality Measurement Presentation (Video)
Presentation on decision quality measurement from Karen Sepucha, PhD, HDSC Director

See all news


Recent Publications

Sepucha KR, Feibelmann, Cosenza C, Levin CA, Pignone M. Development and evaluation of a new survey instrument to measure the quality of colorectal cancer screening decisions. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak 2014 14(1): 72.

Lee CN, Wetschler MH, Chang Y, Belkora JK, Moy B, Partridge A, Sepucha KR. Measuring decision quality: psychometric evaluation of a new instrument for breast cancer chemotherapy. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak 2014 14(1): 73.

Sepucha KR, Matlock DD, Willis CE, Ropka M, Joseph-Williams N, Stacey D, Ng C, Levin C, Lally J, Borkhoff CM, Thomson R. It's Valid and Reliable is Not Enough: Clinical Appraisal of Reporting of Measuring in Trials Evaluating Patient Decision Aids. Med Decis Making 2014 34(6):560-6

Sepucha K, Feibelmann S, Chang Y, Hewitt S, Ziogas A. Measuring the quality of surgical decisions for Latina breast cancer patients. Health Expect 2014 May 12 [epub ahead of print].

Sepucha KR and Scholl I. Measuring Shared Decision Making: A Review of Constructs, Measures, and Opportunities for Cardiovascular CareCirculation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, 2014 May 27 DOI: 10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.113.000350.

Simmons L, Sepucha K. Shared Decision Making: Decision Aid Tools to Build a Patient-Centered Medical Home. Society of General Interrnal Medicine Forum 2014; 37(6): 5, 12.

See all publications