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Shared decision-making

‘Shared decision-making has been defined as “the process of involving patients in clinical decisions”. The ethos is one where professionals (should) work to define problems with sufficient clarity and openness so that patients can comprehend the uncertainties that surround most decisions in medicine and therefore appreciate that choices have to be made between competing options. The clinician’s expertise lies in diagnosing and identifying treatment options according to clinical priorities; the patient’s role is to identify and communicate their informed values and personal priorities, as shaped by their social circumstances.’

Adapted from Thornton H. Evidence-based healthcare. What roles for patients? In: Edwards A, Elwyn G, eds. Shared decision-making in health care. Achieving evidence-based patient choice. Second edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009, p39.

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