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    Lauren Marie Klak.
    Limb threatening trauma to the leg may be treated with either limb salvage (retention process) or amputation (prosthetic process). Limb salvage allows the patient to keep his leg and avoid using a prosthetic; however, it typically has higher probabilities than amputation of complications, additional time in the hospital, and chronic pain. The optimal treatment is still under debate and the current methods to make the decision do not explicitly incorporate the patient's preferences or the patient's medical insurance. This dissertation develops a decision analysis model to help a patient think clearly about the retention process vs. the prosthetic process. The model updates conditional probabilities of various outcomes based on the patient's demographics and develops a method to explicitly incorporate the patient's preferences for keeping the leg, avoiding chronic pain, and avoiding time in the hospital. The model also calculates the probabilities of hospital and prosthetic costs for the patient's health insurance and risk attitude. The decision analysis model in this dissertation utilizes preferences from the patient to inform the decision, facilitates effective discussions between the doctor and the patient, and provides a comprehensive recommendation to the patient.
    Digital Access   2013