Optimal matches of patient preferences for information, decision-making and interpersonal behavior: evidence, models and interventions

Patient Educ Couns. 2006 Jun;61(3):319-41. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2005.08.002. Epub 2005 Dec 20.


Objective: A comprehensive review was conducted of the theoretical and empirical work that addresses the preference-match strategy in physician-patient communication.

Methods: Searches were conducted on Medline, PsychINFO, InFoTrac One File Plus, Sociological Abstracts, and Dissertation Abstracts through 2004. The following keywords were used: patient preferred and received information; patient preferred and actualized treatment decision-making; patient-physician beliefs in shared decision-making; patient-physician match, fit, or concordance; reciprocal relationship or mutuality; doctor-patient affiliation, control, relationship; match/fit between patient and physician in affiliation, control, or relationship.

Results: Findings revealed varying degrees of support for the positive effects of matching patients' preferred levels of information, decisional control, and consultative interpersonal behavior.

Conclusions: Findings justify not only continued but expanded research efforts in this area that would incorporate recommended changes in research design and implementation. PRACTICE AND RESEARCH IMPLICATIONS: Assessment strategies and match interventions are discussed that, if evidence continues to be supportive, might routinely optimize patient-physician encounters toward more positive outcomes. Methodological guidelines are suggested that can improve future preference-match studies of the patient-physician interaction. Practitioners need to consider adoption of patient-match assessment and intervention strategies in addition to recent exclusive concentrations on patient-centered and shared decision-making approaches.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Communication*
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Decision Making*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Needs Assessment
  • Patient Education as Topic / organization & administration*
  • Patient Participation / methods
  • Patient Participation / psychology
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic