Key concepts relevant to quality of complex and shared decision-making in health care: a literature review

Soc Sci Med. 2012 Feb;74(4):582-7. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.11.015. Epub 2011 Dec 23.


High-quality provider-patient decision-making is key to quality care for complex conditions. We performed an analysis of key elements relevant to quality and complex, shared medical decision-making. Based on a search of electronic databases, including Medline and the Cochrane Library, as well as relevant articles' reference lists, reviews of tools, and annotated bibliographies, we developed a list of key concepts and applied them to a decision-making example. Key concepts identified included provider competence, trustworthiness, and cultural competence; communication with patients and families; information quality; patient/surrogate competence; and roles and involvement. We applied this concept list to a case example, shared decision-making for live donor kidney transplantation, and identified the likely most important concepts as provider and cultural competence, information quality, and communication with patients and families. This concept list may be useful for conceptualizing the quality of complex shared decision-making and in guiding research in this area.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Communication
  • Culture
  • Decision Making*
  • Health Literacy
  • Humans
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Patient Participation*
  • Patient Preference
  • Self Efficacy
  • Trust