Decision support system designs often do not align with the information environments in which clinicians work. These work environments may increase clinicians’ cognitive workload and harm their decision making. The objective of this study was to identify information needs and decision support requirements for assessing, diagnosing, and treating chronic noncancer pain in primary care. We conducted a qualitative study involving 30 interviews with 10 primary care clinicians and a subsequent multidisciplinary systems design workshop. Our analysis identified four key decision requirements, eight clinical information needs, and four decision support design seeds. Our findings indicate that clinicians caring for chronic pain need decision support that aggregates many disparate information elements and helps them navigate and contextualize that information. By attending to the needs identified in this study, decision support designers may improve clinicians’ efficiency, reduce mental workload, and positively affect patient care quality and outcomes.

Learning Objective 1: Participants will be able to explain common information needs and decision making challenges faced by primary care providers when managing chronic pain.

Learning Objective 2: Participants will be able to propose new approaches to delivering usable and useful decision support for chronic pain care.


Christopher Harle (Presenter)
Indiana University

Nate Apathy, Indiana University
Robert Cook, University of Florida
Elizabeth Danielson, Indiana University
Julie DiIulio, Applied Decision Science
Sarah Downs, Indiana University
Robert Hurley, Wake Forest University
Burke Mamlin, Indiana University
Laura Militello, Applied Decision Science
Shilo Anders, Vanderbilt University

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