BackgroundClinical ethics consultations can be complex interventions, involving multiple methods, stakeholders, and competing ethical values. Despite longstanding calls for rigorous evaluation in the field, progress has been limited. The Medical Research Council proposed guidelines for evaluating the effectiveness of complex interventions. The evaluation of CEC may benefit from application of the MRC framework to advance the transparency and methodological rigor of this field. A first step is to understand the outcomes measured in evaluations of CEC in healthcare settings. ObjectiveThe primary (...) objective of this review was to identify and map the outcomes reported in primary studies of CEC. The secondary objective was to provide a comprehensive overview of CEC structures, processes, and roles to enhance understanding and to inform standardization.MethodsWe searched electronic databases to identify primary studies of CEC involving patients, substitute decision-makers and/or family members, clinicians, healthcare staff and leaders. Outcomes were mapped across five conceptual domains as identified a priori based on our clinical ethics experience and preliminary literature searches and revised based on our emerging interpretation of the data. These domains included personal factors, process factors, clinical factors, quality, and resource factors. ResultsForty-eight studies were included in the review. Studies were highly heterogeneous and varied considerably regarding format and process of ethical intervention, credentials of interventionist, population of study, outcomes reported, and measures employed. In addition, few studies used validated measurement tools. The top three outcome domains that studies reported on were quality, process factors, and clinical factors. The majority of studies examined multiple outcome domains. All five outcome domains were multidimensional and included a variety of subthemes.ConclusionsThis scoping review represents the initial phase of mapping the outcomes reported in primary studies of CEC and identifying gaps in the evidence. The confirmed lack of standardization represents a hindrance to the provision of high quality intervention and CEC scientific progress. Insights gained can inform the development of a core outcome set to standardize outcome measures in CEC evaluation research and enable scientifically rigorous efficacy trials of CEC. (shrink)
The legalization of cannabis in Canada instantiates principles of harm-reduction and safe supply. However, in-depth understanding of values at stake and attitudes toward legalization were not part of extensive democratic deliberation. Through a qualitative exploratory study, we undertook 48 semi-structured interviews with three Canadian stakeholder groups to explore opinions and values with respect to the legalization of cannabis: (1) members of the general public, (2) people with lived experience of addiction and (3) clinicians with experience treating patients with addiction. Across (...) all groups, participants tended to be in favor of legalization, but particular opinions rested on their viewpoint as stakeholders. Clinicians considered the way legalization would affect an individual’s health and its potential for increasing rates of addiction on a larger scale. People with lived experience of addiction cited personal autonomy more than other groups and stressed the need to have access to quality information to make truly informed decisions. Alternatively, members of the public considered legalization positive or negative in light of whether one’s addiction affected others. We elaborate on and discuss how scientific evidence about drug use impact values relates and how can different arguments play in democratic debates about legalization. (shrink)
:The question as to whether people with an addiction have control over their addiction, and voluntarily decide to use substances is an ongoing source of controversy in the context of research on addiction, health policy and clinical practice. We describe and discuss a set of five challenges for further research into voluntariness based on our own research experiences and those of others.
Addiction is a common condition affecting millions of people worldwide of which only a small proportion receives treatment. The development and use of healthcare services is influenced by how addiction is understood (e.g., a condition to treat, a shameful condition to stigmatize), notably with respect to how volition is impacted (e.g., addiction as a choice or a disease beyond one’s control). Through semi-structured qualitative interviews, we explore the implicit views and understandings of addiction and volition across three stakeholder groups: people (...) with lived experience of addiction, clinicians with experience treating addiction, and members of the public without lived experience of addiction. We notably examine whether three paradigms, i.e., three philosophical sets of understandings about the nature of reality and knowledge (realism, relativism, pragmatism) reflect how stakeholders envision addiction and volition in the context of addiction. The use of these paradigms allows for the characterization of different stances on addiction and volition and an assessment of the coherence of beliefs about these matters. Our findings demonstrate that few participants relied on a single epistemic paradigm when describing their views. Furthermore, there were notable differences in understandings of volition between the clinician group, who were more oriented toward pragmatism, and people with lived experience of addiction, who were less oriented toward realism. Despite its limitations, our study suggests that a greater appreciation for the complexity of views held by different stakeholders about addiction and volition could help critically assess the search for coherence expressed in academic and policy debates. (shrink)