Validation of a decision regret scale

Jamie C. Brehaut*, Annette M. O'Connor, Timothy J. Wood, Thomas F. Hack, Laura Siminoff, Elisa Gordon, Deb Feldman-Stewart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

879 Scopus citations


Background. As patients become more involved in health care decisions, there may be greater opportunity for decision regret. The authors could not find a validated, reliable tool for measuring regret after health care decisions. Methods. A 5-item scale was administered to 4 patient groups making different health care decisions. Convergent validity was determined by examining the scale's correlation with satisfaction measures, decisional conflict, and health outcome measures. Results. The scale showed good internal consistency (Cronbach's α = 0.81 to 0.92). It correlated strongly with decision satisfaction (r = -0.40 to -0.60), decisional conflict (r = 0.31 to 0.52), and overall rated quality of life (r = -0.25 to -0.27). Groups differing on feelings about a decision also differed on rated regret: F(2, 190) = 31.1, P < 0.001. Regret was greater among those who changed their decisions than those who did not, t(175) = 16.11, P < 0.001. Conclusions. The scale is a useful indicator of health care decision regret at a given point in time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-292
Number of pages12
JournalMedical Decision Making
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2003


  • Decision making
  • Patient decisions
  • Regret
  • Scale
  • Validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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