Objective: As shared decision makes increasing headway in healthcare policy, it is under more scrutiny. We sought to identify and dispel the most prevalent myths about shared decision making.
Methods: In 20 years in the shared decision making field one of the author has repeatedly heard mention of the same barriers to scaling up shared decision making across the healthcare spectrum. We conducted a selective literature review relating to shared decision making to further investigate these commonly perceived barriers and to seek evidence supporting their existence or not.
Results: Beliefs about barriers to scaling up shared decision making represent a wide range of historical, cultural, financial and scientific concerns. We found little evidence to support twelve of the most common beliefs about barriers to scaling up shared decision making, and indeed found evidence to the contrary.
Conclusion: Our selective review of the literature suggests that twelve of the most commonly perceived barriers to scaling up shared decision making across the healthcare spectrum should be termed myths as they can be dispelled by evidence.
Practice implications: Our review confirms that the current debate about shared decision making must not deter policy makers and clinicians from pursuing its scaling up across the healthcare continuum.
Keywords: Communication; Decision aids; Implementation; Shared decision making.
Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.