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Editor's Correspondence
July 26, 2010

Medical Decision Making at the Individual Patient Level

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Epidemiology Group, University of Sydney/Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, Glebe, New South Wales, Australia.

Arch Intern Med. 2010;170(14):1275-1276. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2010.241

We read with interest the article by Fraenkel and Fried1 outlining how the lack of outcome data associated with individual comorbidities impairs decision making at the individual patient level. We agree that efforts should be made to collect and disseminate data that will inform decision making for patients with various comorbidities and that effects on a range of patient-specific outcomes should be investigated. However, it will never be possible to examine outcomes for all comorbidities. Hence, it is important to prioritize research to focus on those elements within the complex problem that are likely to have the biggest impact on the decision-making process.

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