Application of Artificial Intelligence in Shared Decision Making: Scoping Review

JMIR Med Inform. 2022 Aug 9;10(8):e36199. doi: 10.2196/36199.


Background: Artificial intelligence (AI) has shown promising results in various fields of medicine. It has the potential to facilitate shared decision making (SDM). However, there is no comprehensive mapping of how AI may be used for SDM.

Objective: We aimed to identify and evaluate published studies that have tested or implemented AI to facilitate SDM.

Methods: We performed a scoping review informed by the methodological framework proposed by Levac et al, modifications to the original Arksey and O'Malley framework of a scoping review, and the Joanna Briggs Institute scoping review framework. We reported our results based on the PRISMA-ScR (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews) reporting guideline. At the identification stage, an information specialist performed a comprehensive search of 6 electronic databases from their inception to May 2021. The inclusion criteria were: all populations; all AI interventions that were used to facilitate SDM, and if the AI intervention was not used for the decision-making point in SDM, it was excluded; any outcome related to patients, health care providers, or health care systems; studies in any health care setting, only studies published in the English language, and all study types. Overall, 2 reviewers independently performed the study selection process and extracted data. Any disagreements were resolved by a third reviewer. A descriptive analysis was performed.

Results: The search process yielded 1445 records. After removing duplicates, 894 documents were screened, and 6 peer-reviewed publications met our inclusion criteria. Overall, 2 of them were conducted in North America, 2 in Europe, 1 in Australia, and 1 in Asia. Most articles were published after 2017. Overall, 3 articles focused on primary care, and 3 articles focused on secondary care. All studies used machine learning methods. Moreover, 3 articles included health care providers in the validation stage of the AI intervention, and 1 article included both health care providers and patients in clinical validation, but none of the articles included health care providers or patients in the design and development of the AI intervention. All used AI to support SDM by providing clinical recommendations or predictions.

Conclusions: Evidence of the use of AI in SDM is in its infancy. We found AI supporting SDM in similar ways across the included articles. We observed a lack of emphasis on patients' values and preferences, as well as poor reporting of AI interventions, resulting in a lack of clarity about different aspects. Little effort was made to address the topics of explainability of AI interventions and to include end-users in the design and development of the interventions. Further efforts are required to strengthen and standardize the use of AI in different steps of SDM and to evaluate its impact on various decisions, populations, and settings.

Keywords: artificial intelligence; machine learning; patient-centered care; scoping review; shared decision making.

Publication types

  • Review