Over recent years, communication within the physician-patient relationship has been profoundly changing. New modes of conveying diagnostic and therapeutic information influence the way in which decisions regarding treatment are made. We propose a critical review of the various theoretical models as presented in the literature, from the paternalistic to the shared decision model, in order to reveal conceptual ambiguities and their related methodological problems. This analysis leads to a project for clarifying these problems through a research protocol based on shared decision-making.
Copyright 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.