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Physicians Favor Patient Involvement in Decision Making, But Cite Barriers Such as Time and Money
Date:3/19/2009

e and unbiased information about their treatment options, they tend to make more conservative and less invasive decisions that often result in better outcomes. The Foundation's research underscores the priority we must place on engaging patients in their care decisions and encouraging a model of active patient participation."

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the US spends as much as $700 billion - 5 percent of the nation's entire GDP - on health care services that do not improve patients' outcomes. Health policy leaders are advocating for reimbursement reform to include patient's involvement in treatment choices and decisions as they identify key strategies to rein in the over consumption of ineffective medical care.

"Increasingly, patients are faced with medical decisions that have many options, uncertain outcomes, and benefits and harms that are valued differently by each individual," and "patients and providers bring different expertise to the decision," the paper's authors write. "Providers are mainly responsible for assimilating and appropriately applying evidence-based information, and patients are responsible for sharing their preferences." By using shared decision-making, they add, "physicians can determine which choice best matches what is most important to the patient and deliver high quality care that is "both evidence-based and patient-centered."

The survey questioned physicians on experiences with, benefits of, and barriers to shared decision-making. It also explored factors that influence if and when physicians engage patients in shared decision-making, their willingness to use patient decision aids that provide unbiased information in user-friendly ways, and their reactions to specific ideas for increasing patient involvement in shared decision-making.

The team found that overall physicians support the principle of shared decision-making. However, physicians identify
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SOURCE Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making
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