Bringing shared decision making and evidence-based practice together

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In quality health care, both shared decision malting (SDM) and evidence-based practice are important contributing approaches. Despite the interdependence of these approaches, they have largely evolved in parallel and realization of their interconnectedness has typi­cally been absent or implied, until recently (Hoffmann et al., 2014a). This chapter will examine the connection between the two approaches and overview some of the strategies to further this connection.

Both shared decision making (SDM) and evidence-based practice are important approaches in quality health care. Despite their interdependence, these two approaches have largely evolved in parallel and their interconnectedness has often been ignored. SDM is most crucial in the final step of evidence-based practice, where the appraised evidence is integrated with the clinician’s expertize and the patient’s values, preferences, and circumstances and a decision is reached. Without SDM, optimal evidence-based practice cannot occur. Without incorporating reliable evidence into the SDM process, patients’ preferences and decisions are not evidence-informed ones. The relationship between the two approaches could be strengthened in a number of ways, including integrating training in SDM skills as part of evidence-based practice curricula, incorporating decision support tools into evidence resources such as systematic reviews and guidelines, and identifying research priorities in partnership with patients. Both approaches, and patient care more generally, would benefit from a stronger relationship.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationShare decision making in health care: Achieving evidence-based patient choice
EditorsG Elwyn, A Edwards, R Thompson
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9780198723448
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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