The diagnosis has come in, and its not good. Worse, the patient has to choose from treatment options that are sometimes contradictory and risky. None of them promises complete success. How do patients make an informed decision, choosing the very best treatment for their own healthcare?
These questions are addressed in the September/October 2007 special issue of Medical Decision Making (MDM) about the future of shared decision-making. The issue, published on behalf of the Society for Medical Decision Making by SAGE features new research articles, systematic reviews of the state of the science, and other perspectives. Some of the articles summarize past research on decision aids and communicating about risk, others describe new approaches and best practices for assessing and conveying risk information, and several suggest new paths for future research.
For more than two decades, Medical Decision Making has published research about patients choosing therapies that are consistent with their preferences, writes MDM editor Mark Helfand in his editorial highlighting the issues articles. Today, all sectors of the health care systemproviders, payers, advocacy and consumer groups, industry, the lay press, and governmentrecognize that improvements in decision making are urgently needed and the research and recommendations described in this issue address practical ways to improve decision-making processes.
|Contact: Judy Erickson|