Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Barry Edelstein

Committee Co-Chair

Alvin Moss

Committee Member

JoNell Strough

Committee Member

Nicholas A Turiano


Decision aids have been shown to be helpful for patients making medical decisions. The use of decision aids can increase patient knowledge, decrease decisional conflict, and increase overall satisfaction with the treatment decision made. The purpose of the study was to develop and evaluate a novel video decision aid for the West Virginia Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (POST). There are no known decision aids developed to assist patients completing POST forms, thus there is a paucity of research investigating the nature, quality, and outcomes of the decision-making process of patients completing a POST form. Fifty English-speaking, community-dwelling older adults (65+) were recruited to participate in the study. The study employed a pre/post repeated measures design and used three measures to evaluate the effectiveness of the decision aid: Decisional Conflict Scale (DCS), Satisfaction with Decision Scale (SWD), and an 18-item Knowledge Questionnaire. Participants were given a case vignette that provided hypothetical medical information for the purpose of making treatment decisions and completing the study measures. Additional analyses were conducted to investigate the role of personality traits in the prediction of decision-making variables: decisional conflict, satisfaction with decision, and preferred role in decision-making. Results indicated significant increases in participant knowledge and decisional satisfaction, and significantly lower levels of decisional conflict after viewing the video-aid. Participants also rated feeling comfortable viewing the aid, that the aid was helpful, and that they would recommend the aid to a friend or family member. Higher levels of neuroticism significantly predicted a collaborative compared to a passive style. No personality trait uniquely accounted for variance in decisional conflict or satisfaction. Results show that in an experimentally controlled, non-patient sample, a decision aid can be useful in improving decisional outcomes for individuals making POST medical decisions. Findings from the study provide the first evidence to support the use of decision aids with the POST form. Personality traits were found to influence decisional outcomes, but further research is required to investigate the relation.