Training Interventions to Equip Health Care Professionals With Shared Decision-Making Skills: A Systematic Scoping Review

J Contin Educ Health Prof. 2020 Spring;40(2):100-119. doi: 10.1097/CEH.0000000000000289.


Introduction: To support the development, implementation, and evaluation of shared decision-making (SDM) training programs, this article maps the relevant evidence in terms of training program design and content as well as evaluation outcomes.

Method: A systematic scoping review methodology was used. To identify studies, the databases PubMed, Medline, and CINAHL were searched from 2009 to 2019, and reference lists of included studies were examined. After removal of duplicates, 1367 articles were screened for inclusion. To be included, studies were to be published in peer-reviewed journals, and should not merely be descriptive but report on evaluation outcomes. Articles were reviewed for inclusion by both authors, and data were extracted using a purposely designed data charting form implemented using REDCap.

Results: The review identified 49 studies evaluating 36 unique SDM training programs. There was considerable variation in terms of program design and duration. Most programs included an overview of SDM theories and key competencies, as well as SDM skill development through role plays. Few programs provided training in reflective practice, in identifying and working with patients' individually preferred decision-making style, or in relation to SDM in a context of medical uncertainty or ambiguity. Most programs were evaluated descriptively, mostly using mixed methods, and there were 18 randomized controlled trials, showing that training was feasible, well received, and improved participants' knowledge and skills, but was limited in its impact on patients.

Discussion: Although there is limited capacity to comment on which types of training programs are most effective, overall training was feasible, well received, and improved participants' knowledge and skills.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Decision Making, Shared*
  • Health Personnel / education*
  • Health Personnel / psychology
  • Health Personnel / trends
  • Humans
  • Teaching / trends*