Implementing and evaluating shared decision making in oncology practice

CA Cancer J Clin. Nov-Dec 2014;64(6):377-88. doi: 10.3322/caac.21245. Epub 2014 Sep 8.


Engaging individuals with cancer in decision making about their treatments has received increased attention; shared decision making (SDM) has become a hallmark of patient-centered care. Although physicians indicate substantial interest in SDM, implementing SDM in cancer care is often complex; high levels of uncertainty may exist, and health care providers must help patients understand the potential risks versus benefits of different treatment options. However, patients who are more engaged in their health care decision making are more likely to experience confidence in and satisfaction with treatment decisions and increased trust in their providers. To implement SDM in oncology practice, physicians and other health care providers need to understand the components of SDM and the approaches to supporting and facilitating this process as part of cancer care. This review summarizes recent information regarding patient and physician factors that influence SDM for cancer care, outcomes resulting from successful SDM, and strategies for implementing SDM in oncology practice. We present a conceptual model illustrating the components of SDM in cancer care and provide recommendations for facilitating SDM in oncology practice.

Keywords: clinical; decision making; health personnel attitudes; health services research; neoplasms/therapy; oncology; patient preference; shared.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Caregivers
  • Decision Making*
  • Humans
  • Medical Oncology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Patient Participation