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Shared decision-making in cardiac care: can we close the gap between good intentions and improved outcomes?
  1. Sandra Lauck1,
  2. Krystina Lewis2
  1. 1 Heart Centre, St. Paul's Hospital, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  2. 2 School of Nursing, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sandra Lauck, Heart Centre, St. Paul's Hospital 5261 Burrard Street, University of British Columbia, Vancouver V6Z 1Y6, Canada; slauck{at}

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The idea of shared decision-making has been increasingly socialised in clinical, research, policy and patient advocacy communities in an effort to shift the culture of healthcare from clinician-driven to patient-centred.1 A shared decision-making approach is a collaborative process between patients and healthcare providers whereby they work together to achieve a health decision that is based on the best evidence and the consideration of patients’ needs, values and preferences.2 It is about changing the conversation, opening the door to hear from patients about matters most to them given their options for treatment, and achieving a high-quality decision that results in good clinical outcomes and patients’ experience of care.3

But is shared decision-making simply a lofty goal, a nice thing to do, or the latest new language of the documentation of consent? Or can it be an intervention implemented in clinical care that results in important, measurable and improved outcomes? In a systematic review of randomised controlled studies that examined the effectiveness of shared decision-making interventions in cardiology, Mitropoulo et al 4 identified 18 studies in various cardiac care areas, including atrial fibrillation and anticoagulation, chest pain and coronary artery disease, cardiac devices and pacemakers, and advanced treatment …

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  • Contributors We have collaborated on developing the content of the editorial.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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