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Mon, April 17, 2017

A new piece by Brian Zikmund-Fisher and former CBSSM post-doc, Laura Scherer is out in the Conversation, "Maximizers vs. minimizers: The personality trait that may guide your medical decisions – and costs." They developed and validated a 10-item questionnaire that assesses a person’s maximizing or minimizing tendencies on a scale, from one (strong minimizing) to seven (strong maximizing). Across four studies, they found this difference predicts health care use across a range of medical interventions and health problems, from cancer screening preferences to vaccination. They hope that identifying variations in maximizing or minimizing tendencies may be useful in trying to address both overuse and underuse in health care.

Research Topics: 

Press Kit

About CBSSM

CBSSM acts at the premier intellectual gathering place of clinicians, social scientists, bioethicists, and all others interested in improving individual and societal health through scholarship and service.

Schedule an Interview

Members of the media interested in interviewing Center members can call the UMHS Public Relations office at 734-764-2220 between the hours 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time, or email us directly at cbssm-mgr@umich.edu

Mon, October 23, 2017

In a recent blog post, Brian Zikmund-Fisher writes about the often unrecognized problem of finding meaning in the flood of health data.

Research Topics: 

Internet Survey Lab

Overview

The Internet Survey Lab at the Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine (CBSSM), led by Dr. Brian Zikmund-Fisher, facilitates the programming of complex experimental designs, using the graphical and interactive capabilities of the Internet. CBSSM has extensive experience in developing, programming and conducting survey research using Internet-based methodologies. 

Why We Use the Internet

A key advantage of Internet surveys is that they can shape and direct a user's experience in response to computer generated randomization and/or respondents' own answers to questions earlier in the survey. Additionally, page and answer order can be truly randomized as appropriate to limit cognitive biases. The unique advantage of Internet surveys, however, is that many different types of stimuli can be randomized or varied; static visual images, movies, or sounds can all be used in addition to text. Furthermore, the nature of the browser interface enables user-directed interactivity, such as user-adjustable risk communication graphics, that provide unique opportunities for both knowledge communication and response assessment.

Using the Internet to conduct survey research is also very efficient: we can develop and test surveys in only a few months' time, and once a survey is ready, large scale data collection (e.g., 1500-3000 completed surveys) can be completed in only 2-3 weeks.  Such surveys can also be cost effective, since while significant effort goes into development, creation, and testing of the survey, almost no personnel effort is required for data collection, entering, coding, or cleaning.  In addition, oftentimes several small surveys can be combined into a single instrument, creating further efficiencies.

Sometimes, our studies use large, demographically diverse samples obtained through commercial survey research firms. This methodology allows us to tailor the population being surveyed on multiple demographic variables (e.g., sampling only women age 40-75 for a study about breast cancer treatments) and provides us with ample statistical power to conduct multi-factorial experimental tests. Other times, we use more inexpensive samples from Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) for quick pilot testing or to enable rapid, iterative testing of designs. Regardless, the use of randomized designs ensures high internal validity for the research despite the use of an Internet-only sample.

CBSSM Surveys

CBSSM has had considerable success using this methodology, publishing multiple manuscripts in highly regarded peer-reviewed journals. Studies that have used this methodology have addressed a variety of topics, including:

  • The use of pictographs to display risk (20082008, 2014) including in comparison to other graphical formats (2008, 2010, 2010). 
    Note: to create your own pictographs, see www.iconarray.com.
  • Misprediction of happiness between younger and older adults (2005)
  • Elicitation of utility and willingness to pay (200720072008)
  • Research ethics, e.g., participation of mentally vs. medically ill in research (2005)
  • Risk communications that emphasize incremental risks instead of absolute risks (2008)
  • Simplifying risk communications about adjuvant therapy options (2008).
  • Effect of risk labels on prenatal screening decisions (2007).
  • Time-insensitivity in people's understanding of survival curves (20052007)
  • Self-other discrepancies in medical decisions (20062008)
  • Sequential vs. all at once presentations of risk information (2011)
  • Testing of animated or interactive risk graphics (2011, 2012, 2014)
  • Optimal levels of precision in risk communications (2011, 2012)
  • Framing of health promotion messages (2012)
  • Exploration of role of narratives in decision making (2010)
  • Values Clarification (2015)
  • Intuition and Deliberation in Decision Making (2015)

Contact Us

For questions about our methods or inquiries about potential Internet survey research collaborations, please contact Brian Zikmund-Fisher at bzikmund@umich.edu.

Funded by EU Commission

Funding Years: 2012-2015

 

Site PI: Angela Fagerlin

Co-I: Brian Zikmund-Fisher

 

Mon, October 02, 2017

Sarah Hawley, Brian Zikmund-Fisher, and Reshma Jagsi are co-authors of a recent study published in Medical Decision Making, which was highlighted in MHealth Lab. Their study found that talking to clinicians is the best way for breast cancer patients to understand their recurrence risk. They also found that clinician discussions about recurrence risk should address uncertainty and the relevance of family and personal history. Kamaria Lee is first author of the article.

CBSSM researcher Brian J. Zikmund-Fisher, PhD, and collaborator Mick Couper, PhD, from the UM Institute for Social Research spoke to the Medical Editors Meeting of the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Drs. Couper and Zikmund-Fisher reported on "Methods and Early Results from the National Survey of Medical Decisions." This pioneering survey reveals surprising information about the epidemiology of ten common medical decisions that are made by older Americans. Discussion of the presentation was lively!

The Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making, which funded this CBSSM research, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to assuring that people understand their choices and have the information they need to make sound decisions affecting their health and well being.
Learn more at http://www.fimdm.org

Brian Zikmund-Fisher, Sarah Hawley, Reshma Jagsi and others were recently published in a JAMA Oncology research letter on breast cancer patient risk communication. They found that medical oncologists were found to be far more likely than surgeons to quantify risk estimates for patients and that patients who do not see a medical oncologist may make treatment decisions, including surgery, without all relevant risk information.

For the full article: http://oncology.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2491464

 

Tue, July 22, 2014

Brian Zikmund-Fisher was featured on NPR’s “All Thing Considered.” Brian shared his personal experiences with risk and probability in medical decision making. Check it out!

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