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Clin Med (Lond). 2005 Sep-Oct;5(5):465-9.

Risk communication in the clinical consultation.

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National Patient Safety Agency, London.


Modern healthcare and modern societies are facing up to the need for greater engagement of patients in treatment decisions. Shared and informed decision-making is replacing traditional paternalistic approaches to decisions; health policy both reflects and drives these changes. A critical contribution to better informed decisions by patients is the effective communication of risk in the clinical consultation. This is not straightforward, but there is a growing evidence base to improve performance in this area to the benefit of both patients and clinicians. The purpose of this review is to provide an accessible and practical guide to better communication of risk by clinicians.

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