Culture and medical decision making: Patient perspectives in Japan and the U.S

D. Alden, J. Friend, A.Y. Lee, Marieke de Vries, R. Osawa, Q. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Objective:
Two studies identified core value influences on medical decision-making processes across and within cultures.
Methods:
In Study 1, Japanese and American adults reported desired levels of medical decision-making influence across conditions that varied in seriousness. Cultural antecedents (interdependence, independence, and power distance) were also measured. In Study 2, American adults reviewed a colorectal cancer screening decision aid. Decision preparedness was measured along with interdependence, independence, and desire for medical information.
Results:
In Study 1, higher interdependence predicted stronger desire for decision-making information in both countries, but was significantly stronger in Japan. The path from information desire to decision-making influence desire was significant only in Japan. The independence path to desire for decision-making influence was significant only in the United States. Power distance effects negatively predicted desire for decision-making influence only in the United States. For Study 2, high (low) interdependents and women (men) in the United States felt that a colorectal cancer screening decision aid helped prepare them more (less) for a medical consultation. Low interdependent men were at significantly higher risk for low decision preparedness.
Conclusions:
Study 1 suggests that Japanese participants may tend to view medical decision-making influence as an interdependent, information sharing exchange, whereas American respondents may be more interested in power sharing that emphasizes greater independence. Study 2 demonstrates the need to assess value influences on medical decision-making processes within and across cultures and suggests that individually tailored versions of decision aids may optimize decision preparedness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1133-1144
JournalHealth Psychology
Volume34
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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Alden, D., Friend, J., Lee, A. Y., de Vries, M., Osawa, R., & Chen, Q. (2015). Culture and medical decision making: Patient perspectives in Japan and the U.S. Health Psychology, 34(12), 1133-1144. https://doi.org/10.1037/hea0000229