Critical Thinking in Patient Centered Care

J Evid Based Dent Pract. 2014 Jun;14 Suppl:235-9.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jebdp.2014.04.002. Epub 2014 Apr 4.


Health care providers can enhance their critical thinking skills, essential to providing patient centered care, by use of motivational interviewing and evidence-based decision making techniques.

Background and purpose: The need for critical thinking skills to foster optimal patient centered care is being emphasized in educational curricula for health care professions. The theme of this paper is that evidence-based decision making (EBDM) and motivational interviewing (MI) are tools that when taught in health professions educational programs can aid in the development of critical thinking skills. This paper reviews the MI and EBDM literature for evidence regarding these patient-centered care techniques as they relate to improved oral health outcomes.

Methods: Comparisons between critical thinking and EBDM skills are presented and the EBDM model and the MI technique are briefly described followed by a discussion of the research to date.

Conclusions: The evidence suggests that EBDM and MI are valuable tools; however, further studies are needed regarding the effectiveness of EBDM and MI and the ways that health care providers can best develop critical thinking skills to facilitate improved patient care outcomes.

Keywords: critical thinking skills; evidence-based decision making; motivational interviewing; patient centered care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Decision Making
  • Dental Hygienists
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Humans
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Patient-Centered Care*
  • Thinking*