Angelo Volandes, MD, MPH, is a practicing internal medicine physician in the MGH Department of Medicine and a junior faculty member at Harvard Medical School. He is a Harvard College and Yale Medical School graduate. Dr. Volandes completed research fellowships in Medical Ethics at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He completed his Masters degree in public health at the Harvard School of Public Health in Clinical Effectiveness. He is an active member of the Ethics Committee in the Partners Health Care system.
Dr. Volandes' work explores the role of visual media in medical decision making, and is lending his expertise to efforts surrounding Advance Care Planning (ACP), the process by which patients plan for future medical care under circumstances of impaired decision-making. One of his research questions is determining whether, as part of the ACP process, patients can realistically imagine future health states which include difficult and uncomfortable hypothetical scenarios.
His recent ACP research was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine on April 23 in an article titled, "Using Video Images of Dementia in Advance Care Planning." His study compared the preferences of patients after seeing a video depiction of a patient with advanced stage dementia, to those who received a verbal description of that health state. Results show that the use of video engages and allows patients to envision future health states in a manner not captured with verbal communication.
Patients with terminal cancer who viewed a brief video demonstrating cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) were less likely than patients who only listened to a verbal description of the procedure to indicate a preference for receiving CPR in the event of an in-hospital cardiac arrest.