Strategies for implementing shared decision making in elective surgery by health care practitioners: A systematic review

Clarabelle Pham, Lucylynn Lizarondo, Jonathan Karnon, Edoardo Aromataris, Zachary Munn, Catherine Gibb, Robert Fitridge, Guy Maddern

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Rationale, Aims and Objectives: To summarize relevant international scientific evidence on strategies aimed at facilitating or improving health care practitioners' adoption of shared decision making in elective surgery. The review evaluated the effectiveness of these strategies and described the characteristics of identified strategies.

Method: A systematic search of the literature was conducted up to March 2019. The review included interventions that targeted patients, health care practitioners, or health systems/organizations. Main outcomes were measures of decision process and decision outcomes. Two independent reviewers conducted study selection, assessed methodological quality and extracted data.

Results: Fifteen randomized controlled trials, one pseudo-randomized controlled trial, and four quasi-experimental studies were included in this review. The heterogeneity of interventions and the variability of outcomes used to measure the impact of these interventions precluded meta-analysis. All of the interventions included an educational component regarding the medical condition of interest and available treatment options and a supportive component to encourage patients to ask questions and involve themselves in the decision making. Published evidence on shared decision-making interventions in elective surgery is most prevalent in the breast cancer/endocrine and urology specialties, with most studies targeting their shared decision-making interventions at the patient population. The use of multiple media components within an intervention including interactive video appeared to improve patient satisfaction with the shared decision-making process.

Conclusions: The use of well-developed educational information provided through interactive multimedia, computer or DVD based, may enhance the decision-making process. The evidence suggests that such multimedia can be used prior to the surgical consultation, presenting medical and surgical information relevant to the upcoming consultation. A decision and communication aid also appears to be an effective method to support the surgeon in patient participation and involvement in the decision-making process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)582-601
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
Issue number2
Early online date6 Sep 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • effectiveness
  • elective surgery
  • shared decision making
  • systematic review


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