Understanding and overcoming the barriers of implementing patient decision aids in clinical practice

J Eval Clin Pract. 2006 Apr;12(2):174-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2753.2006.00613.x.


Patient decision aids (ptDAs) have been developed to assist patients with difficult health-related decisions. Despite their proven effects on decision quality in numerous efficacy trials, we lack an evidence-based approach for implementing them as part of the process of care. Pragmatic trials of ptDAs have uncovered a myriad of implementation challenges; therefore we need a better understanding of the barriers and strategies to overcome them to facilitate their widespread uptake. The following paper provides an overview of the barriers related to the uptake of ptDAs within the process of care and the strategies, opportunities and research priorities to overcome them. This report is based on our interpretation of the literature and our collective experience in implementing ptDAs within trials and other contexts.

MeSH terms

  • Communication Barriers*
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Decision Support Techniques*
  • Health Services Accessibility / trends
  • Humans
  • Organizational Culture
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Patient Participation / methods*