Patient involvement in health care decision making: a review

Iran Red Crescent Med J. 2014 Jan;16(1):e12454. doi: 10.5812/ircmj.12454. Epub 2014 Jan 5.


Background: Patient participation means involvement of the patient in decision making or expressing opinions about different treatment methods, which includes sharing information, feelings and signs and accepting health team instructions.

Objectives: Given the importance of patient participation in healthcare decision making which empowers patients and improves services and health outcomes, this study was performed to review previous studies on patient participation in healthcare decision making.

Materials and methods: To prepare this narrative review article, researchers used general and specific search engines, as well as textbooks addressing this subject for an in-depth study of patient involvement in healthcare decision-making. As a result, 35 (out of 100 relevant) articles and also two books were selected for writing this review article.

Results: BASED ON THE REVIEW OF ARTICLES AND BOOKS, TOPICS WERE DIVIDED INTO SIX GENERAL CATEGORIES: definition of participation, importance of patient participation, factors influencing participation of patients in healthcare decisions, method of patient participation, tools for evaluating participation, and benefits and consequences of patient participation in health care decision-making.

Conclusions: IN MOST STUDIES, FACTORS INFLUENCING PATIENT PARTICIPATION CONSISTED OF: factors associated with health care professionals such as doctor-patient relationship, recognition of patient's knowledge, allocation of sufficient time for participation, and also factors related to patients such as having knowledge, physical and cognitive ability, and emotional connections, beliefs, values and their experiences in relation to health services.

Keywords: Decision-Making; Health Care; Patient.