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Re-engineering shared decision-making
  1. Muriel R Gillick
  1. Correspondence to Dr Muriel R Gillick, Department of Population Medicine/Harvard Medical School, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, Boston, MA 02115, USA; mgillick{at}


Shared decision-making is widely accepted as the gold standard of clinical care. Numerous obstacles to achieving shared decision-making have been identified, including patient factors, physician factors and systemic factors. Until now, the paradigm is seldom successfully implemented in clinical practice, raising questions about the practicality of the process recommended for its use. A re-engineered model is proposed in which physicians elicit and prioritise patients’ goals of care and then help translate those goals into treatment options, after clarifying the patient's underlying health status. Preliminary evidence suggests that each step of this revised process is feasible and that patients and physicians are comfortable with this strategy. Adoption of this model, after further testing, would allow the goal of shared decision-making to be realised.

  • Autonomy
  • Decision-making
  • Paternalism

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