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Looking for the ‘sweet spot’ in shared decision-making

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Terri R. Fried, M.D., writes about trying to find the “sweet spot” in shared decision making with patients. She concludes:

“….I believe that finding the sweet spot for shared decision making will require clinicians to work against their natural impulses to tell the patient what to do when they’re certain of what’s best and to leave the patient to decide when they’re not. ‘I’m not sure what the right answer is, so why don’t you decide’ can be replaced with ‘This is a really hard decision because we aren’t sure what will happen if you choose option x; let me show you how I think about this, and you can tell me whether it fits with what’s important to you.’ And, equally important, ‘I’m recommending option x because it provides better outcomes than option y’ can become ‘Let me tell you about the pros and cons of options x and y so that you can decide which one matches your priorities.”’

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