Predicting preferences: a neglected aspect of shared decision-making

Health Expect. 2006 Sep;9(3):245-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1369-7625.2006.00391.x.


In recent years, shared decision-making between patients and doctors regarding choice of treatment has become an issue of priority. Although patients' preferences lie at the core of the literature on shared decision-making, there has not been any attempt so far to link the concept of shared decision-making with the extensive behavioural literature on people's self-predictions of their future preferences. The aim of the present review is to provide this link. First, we summarize behavioural research that suggests that people mispredict their future preferences and feelings. Secondly, we provide the main psychological accounts for people's mispredictions. Thirdly, we suggest three main empirical questions for inclusion in a programme aimed at enriching our understanding of shared decision-making and improving the procedures used for putting it into practice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Decision Making*
  • Emotions
  • Humans
  • Motivation
  • Patient Participation*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*