Korean J Fam Med 2017; 38(6): 315-321  https://doi.org/10.4082/kjfm.2017.38.6.315
Probability or Reasoning: Current Thinking and Realistic Strategies for Improved Medical Decisions
Yogarabindranath Swarna Nantha*
Primary Care Research Initiative and Methods Education Department (PRIMED), Seremban Primary Care Clinic, Seremban, Malaysia
Yogarabindranath Swarna Nantha Tel: +60-0122791146, Fax: +60-6-7612145, E-mail: yogarabin@gmail.com
Received: February 22, 2017; Revised: April 9, 2017; Accepted: May 7, 2017; Published online: November 20, 2017.
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A prescriptive model approach in decision making could help achieve better diagnostic accuracy in clinical practice through methods that are less reliant on probabilistic assessments. Various prescriptive measures aimed at regulating factors that influence heuristics and clinical reasoning could support clinical decision-making process. Clinicians could avoid time-consuming decision-making methods that require probabilistic calculations. Intuitively, they could rely on heuristics to obtain an accurate diagnosis in a given clinical setting. An extensive literature review of cognitive psychology and medical decision-making theory was performed to illustrate how heuristics could be effectively utilized in daily practice. Since physicians often rely on heuristics in realistic situations, probabilistic estimation might not be a useful tool in everyday clinical practice. Improvements in the descriptive model of decision making (heuristics) may allow for greater diagnostic accuracy.
Keywords: Heuristics; Decision Making; Evidence-Based Medicine, Bias; Problem Solving

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