Prevention of sudden cardiac death: a probabilistic model for decision support.
As part of the Cardiac Arrhythmia and Risk of Death Patient Outcomes Research Team (CARD PORT) study we are developing a comprehensive decision model to help physicians identify preferred strategies for preventing sudden cardiac death. The model integrates three components: a screening model, a treatment model, and a value model. Ultimately this model will use the CARD PORT's collective findings to produce policy recommendations and will support patient-specific clinical decision making. Our initial modeling suggests the importance of patient-specific value models in an analysis of treatment options. Although our model is specific to cardiac sudden death, other medical domains that exhibit similar characteristics--the importance of patient preferences and the uncertainty regarding the benefits of strategies for risk stratification and treatment--can use a conceptual framework similar to the approach we used to represent strategies to prevent sudden cardiac death.