The involvement of patients in medical treatment decisions has been intensively discussed for several years. The present review article is concerned with the patient participation in medical decision making mainly in the field of oncology. Also discussed are methodological aspects of the measurement of patient involvement and the theoretical approach of shared decision -making. The preference to be involved in decisions is expressed from 16-50% of the patients and depends on socio-demographic and disease-related variables. Positive impact of patient participation is observed essentially as short-term effects and for psychosocial outcome criteria. Further research should consider the methodological aspects and focus on dyadic concepts and various dimensions of patient involvement. It is also important to focus on evaluation of the decision and on the possible (long time) effects in terms of recovery, progression of disease, psychosocial consequences and economic impact.
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