Elwyn G, Laitner S, Coulter A, et al. Implementing shared decision making in the NHS. BMJ. 2010;341:c5146.
Policies to promote shared decision making are becoming prominent in the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom. This is partly because of a recognition of the ethical imperative to properly involve patients in decisions about their care and partly because of the acrruing evidence that the approach has benefits. Shared decision making is an approach where clinicians and patients make decisions together using the best available evidence. Patients are encouraged to think about the available screening, treatment, or management options and the likely benefits and harms of each so that they can communicate their preferences and help select the best course of action for them. Shared decision making respects patient autonomy and promotes patient engagement.