Kostick, Kristin M.; Bruce, Courtenay R.; Minard, Charles G.; Volk, Roberti.; Civitello, Andrew; Krim, Selim R.; Horstmanshof, Douglas; Thohan, Vinay; Loebe, Matthias; Hanna, Mazen; Bruckner, Brian A.; Blumenthal-Barby, J. S.; Estep, Jerry D.
Background: Studies indicate that decision making and informed consent among patients considering left ventricular assist device (LVAD) support for advanced heart failure could be improved. In the VADDA (Ventricular Assist Device Decision Aid) trial, we tested a patient-centered decision aid (DA) to enhance the quality of decision making about LVAD therapy.; Methods: After an extensive user-centered design process, we conducted a multisite randomized trial of the DA compared with standard education (SE) among inpatients considering LVAD treatment for advanced heart failure The main outcome was LVAD knowledge at 1 week and 1 month after administration of the DA versus the SE, according to a validated scale. Secondary measures included prespecified quality decision making measures recommended by the International Patient Decision Aid Standards collaboration.; Results: Of 105 eligible patients, 98 consented and were randomly assigned to the DA and SE arms. Patients receiving the VADDA exhibited significantly greater LVAD knowledge than the SE group at 1 week of follow-up (P = .01) but not at 1 month (P = .47). No differences were found between DA and SE patients in rates of acceptance versus decline of LVAD treatment (85% vs 78%; P = .74). Recipients in the DA arm reported greater satisfaction with life after implantation compared with nonrecipients (28 vs 23 out of 30; P = .008), although both arms reported high satisfaction. Patients rated the DA high in acceptability and usability.; Conclusions: The VADDA enhances LVAD knowledge, particularly in the short term (1 week) during the peak period of decision making. The DA does not encourage decision direction and reflects patient, care-giver, and physician preferences for content and format.