What patients want

An interesting article from KevinMD.com was shared with us: “How much guidance do patients want with their medical decisions?”

Victor Montori, MD, comments:

While the surveys consistently show that not all patients would like to make the final decision about treatments, these surveys have two major flaws:  1) The majority of patients interview have never experienced a high-quality shared decision making interaction.  2) The decisions asked are infrequently described to the respondents of these surveys as being those in which there is no right or wrong choice.

Patients do not like to be asked to make a decision for which there is a technically correct choice. And who knows the right answer? The doctor. The decisions that are most amenable to shared decision making are nontechnical ones in which the options have trade offs that only the patient can seriously evaluate, with the help of a caring clinician. This last point is well illustrated in this piece.

We agree with the commentary writer that the context of primary care and healthcare in general is not conducive to shared decision making, and this is why this will require a patient revolution.

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