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Patient Educ Couns. 2006 Jun;61(3):319-41. Epub 2005 Dec 20.

Optimal matches of patient preferences for information, decision-making and interpersonal behavior: evidence, models and interventions.

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Virginia Commonwealth University, Department of Psychology, 808 W. Franklin Street, Box 842018, Richmond, VA 23284, USA.



A comprehensive review was conducted of the theoretical and empirical work that addresses the preference-match strategy in physician-patient communication.


Searches were conducted on Medline, PsychINFO, InFoTrac One File Plus, Sociological Abstracts, and Dissertation Abstracts through 2004. The following keywords were used: patient preferred and received information; patient preferred and actualized treatment decision-making; patient-physician beliefs in shared decision-making; patient-physician match, fit, or concordance; reciprocal relationship or mutuality; doctor-patient affiliation, control, relationship; match/fit between patient and physician in affiliation, control, or relationship.


Findings revealed varying degrees of support for the positive effects of matching patients' preferred levels of information, decisional control, and consultative interpersonal behavior.


Findings justify not only continued but expanded research efforts in this area that would incorporate recommended changes in research design and implementation. PRACTICE AND RESEARCH IMPLICATIONS: Assessment strategies and match interventions are discussed that, if evidence continues to be supportive, might routinely optimize patient-physician encounters toward more positive outcomes. Methodological guidelines are suggested that can improve future preference-match studies of the patient-physician interaction. Practitioners need to consider adoption of patient-match assessment and intervention strategies in addition to recent exclusive concentrations on patient-centered and shared decision-making approaches.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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