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Patient. 2015 Dec;8(6):471-6. doi: 10.1007/s40271-015-0117-0.

Is Shared Decision Making a Utopian Dream or an Achievable Goal?

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Department of Practical Theology, Faculté de théologie et de sciences religieuses, Université Laval, Pavillon Félix-Antoine-Savard, 2325, rue des Bibliothèques, Quebec, QC, G1V 0A6, Canada.
Canada Research Chair in Implementation of Shared Decision Making in Primary Care, Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada.
CHU de Quebec Research Centre, Hôpital Saint-François d'Assise, 10, rue de l'Espinay, Quebec, QC, G1L 3L5, Canada.


The idea of shared decision making (SDM) between patient and physician grew out of a generalized challenge to traditional social hierarchies that occurred in the middle of the last century. Governments have espoused SDM, thousands of articles about it have been published, and evidence has shown that it improves some of the healthcare processes as well as patient outcomes. Yet it has not been widely adopted. From their cross-disciplinary perspective (practical theology and clinical medicine), the authors locate this reluctance in the unfolding of scientific paradigm shifts, summarize the perceived risks and benefits of SDM and the evidence for each, and suggest practical, achievable approaches for clinicians. Finally, they explore some important emerging territories for SDM.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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