How patient centered are medical decisions?

A national survey sample of adults who had discussions with their physicians in the preceding two years about common medical tests, medications and procedures often did not reflect a high level of shared decision making, according to an article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Floyd J. Fowler, Jr., Ph.D., from the Informed Foundation and the University of Massachusetts, Boston, conducted a 2011 survey of a cross section of U.S. adults 40 years or older and asked them to indicate whether they reported making one of 10 medical decisions and to describe their interactions with their physicians concerning those decisions. The decisions included: medication for hypertension, elevated cholesterol, or depression; screening for breast, prostate or ; knee or hip replacement for osteoarthritis, or surgery for cataract or low back pain.

"…we saw great variation in the extent to which patients reported efforts to inform them about and involve them in 10 common decisions," the authors write in their conclusion. "Although there was variation within decision types, decisions concerning four surgical procedures were much more shared than decisions about cancer screening and two very common long-term medications for cardiac risk reduction. If share decision making is to be one defining characteristic of primary care as delivered in medical homes, and other will need to balance their discussions of pros and cons to a greater degree and ask patients for their input more consistently."

More information: JAMA Intern Med. Published online May 27, 2013. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.6172

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Preterm children's brains can catch up years later

14 hours ago

There's some good news for parents of preterm babies – latest research from the University of Adelaide shows that by the time they become teenagers, the brains of many preterm children can perform almost as well as those ...

Mortality rates increase due to extreme heat and cold

15 hours ago

Epidemiological studies have repeatedly shown that death rates rise in association with extremely hot weather. The heat wave in Western Europe in the summer of 2003, for example, resulted in about 22,000 extra deaths. A team ...

User comments