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Table 2 Factors in clinical decision making in acute vs. chronic illness.

From: Clinical Decision Making and Outcome in Routine Care for People with Severe Mental Illness (CEDAR): Study protocol

Factors Acute illness Chronic illness
Nature of illness Discrete; time-limited; treatable Pervasive; long-term; manageable
Decisions Cure focused Control focused
Nature Deal with cause; minimal side effects Symptom reduction; sequellae prevention; side effects trade-off
Number Single Multiple; repetitive
Evidence used Focused on illness Focused on illness plus lifestyle; little on multiple chronic conditions and their interaction
Decision making relationship Patient and treatment focused; Permission for provider to act Consumer and symptom focused; Permission for consumer to act
Decision making environment Temporary disruption until patient is well Permanently altered to accommodate symptoms and management
  1. Note. Adapted from Watt [8].