Choosing Wisely Campaign: Valuable For Providers Who Knew About It, But Awareness Remained Constant, 2014-17 [Web First]

Together with physician specialty societies, the Choosing Wisely® campaign has codified recommendations of which health care services’ use should be questioned and discussed with patients. The ABIM Foundation administered surveys in 2014 and 2017 to examine physicians’ attitudes toward and awareness of the use of low-value care. The surveys included questions on the factors driving that use, physicians’ comfort in having conversations with patients about that use, and physicians’ exposure to the Choosing Wisely campaign. Despite continued publicity and physician outreach efforts, there were no significant changes between 2014 and 2017 in awareness of the campaign among physicians (awareness increased from 21 percent to 25 percent) or physician-reported difficulty in talking to patients about avoiding a low-value service (42 percent reported that such conversations had gotten harder in 2014, and 46 percent did so in 2017). Barriers to the adoption of recommendations included malpractice concerns, patient demand and satisfaction, and physicians’ desire for more information to reduce uncertainty. Multifaceted interventions that reinforce guidelines through personalized education, follow-up, and feedback, as well as aligned financial incentives, should be pursued to reduce the use of low-value services.

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