Photo of Karen R. Sepucha,  PhD

Karen R. Sepucha, PhD

Massachusetts General Hospital

Massachusetts General Hospital
Phone: (617) 724-3350


ksepucha@partners.org

Karen R. Sepucha, PhD

Massachusetts General Hospital

EDUCATIONAL TITLES

  • Assistant Professor, Medicine, Harvard Medical School
  • Assistant in Medicine, General Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Director, Health Decision Sciences Center, Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital

DF/HCC PROGRAM AFFILIATION

Research Abstract

My research and clinical interests involve developing, evaluating and implementing tools to improve the quality of significant medical decisions. The goal of my work is to ensure that all patients who face significant medical decisions, are meaningfully engaged, well-informed, and received treatments that match their goals. I was the medical editor for a series of five decision aids for breast cancer produced by the Informed Medical Decision Making Foundation. The decision aids have won several awards and I have led efforts to disseminate these widely. One of the barriers that we have found to using decision aids is a lack of awareness on the part of patients and providers of the large gaps in decision quality—such as how little many patients understand about the choices they face and how often the treatments patients receive do not meet their goals and preferences. To address this, I have been leading a large multi-institution research project to develop decision quality instruments across a range of decisions such as breast cancer surgery, breast reconstruction and systemic therapy. The survey instruments measure patients’ knowledge, their involvement in decisions and the extent to which treatments reflect their goals. I have also been working on studies to examine decision making for prophylactic mastectomy, and impact of biomarker information on patients and providers decisions.

Publications

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  • Winn K, Ozanne E, Sepucha K. Measuring patient-centered care: An updated systematic review of how studies define and report concordance between patients' preferences and medical treatments. Patient Educ Couns 2015. PubMed
  • Fowler FJ, Gallagher PM, Drake KM, Sepucha KR. Decision dissonance: evaluating an approach to measuring the quality of surgical decision making. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf 2013; 39:136-44. PubMed
  • Belkora JK, Volz S, Teng AE, Moore DH, Loth MK, Sepucha KR. Impact of decision aids in a sustained implementation at a breast care center. Patient Educ Couns 2012; 86:195-204. PubMed
  • Lee CN, Chang Y, Adimorah N, Belkora JK, Moy B, Partridge AH, Ollila DW, Sepucha KR. Decision making about surgery for early-stage breast cancer. J Am Coll Surg 2011; 214:1-10. PubMed
  • Sepucha KR, Belkora JK, Chang Y, Cosenza C, Levin CA, Moy B, Partridge A, Lee CN. Measuring decision quality: psychometric evaluation of a new instrument for breast cancer surgery. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak 2012; 12:51. PubMed
  • Fowler FJ, Levin CA, Sepucha KR. Informing and involving patients to improve the quality of medical decisions. Health Aff (Millwood) 2011; 30:699-706. PubMed
  • Lee CN, Dominik R, Levin CA, Barry MJ, Cosenza C, O'Connor AM, Mulley AG, Sepucha KR. Development of instruments to measure the quality of breast cancer treatment decisions. Health Expect 2010; 13:258-72. PubMed
  • Sepucha KR, Barry MJ. Making patient-centered cancer care a reality. Cancer 2009; 115:5610-1. PubMed
  • Sepucha KR, Fagerlin A, Couper MP, Levin CA, Singer E, Zikmund-Fisher BJ. How does feeling informed relate to being informed? The DECISIONS survey. Med Decis Making 2010; 30:77S-84S. PubMed
  • Fagerlin A, Sepucha KR, Couper MP, Levin CA, Singer E, Zikmund-Fisher BJ. Patients' knowledge about 9 common health conditions: the DECISIONS survey. Med Decis Making 2010; 30:35S-52S. PubMed