Patient-centered healthcare involves involving the patient in decisions related to their health (called “shared decision making” in English). Shared decision making is a fundamental requirement in healthcare and many medical guidelines include it as a key principle. There is intense scientific research being conducted in this area. For shared decision making to be effective, the patient needs to be well-informed about their illness, possible therapies, their expected outcomes, and the risks involved, and be able to communicate and cooperate during their treatment. It is equally important for doctors to understand the patient’s thoughts, preferences, subjective expectations regarding their health and treatment, and their experiences with healthcare and treatment outcomes. This requires the use of reliable metrics to assess and track changes in the patient’s perspective. Reliable sources of information and tools to facilitate information acquisition, understanding, and communication are also needed. Internet-based decision-making tools, advanced technical solutions, and IT solutions are therefore playing an increasingly important role in shared decision making in healthcare.
A special issue of the ZEFQ journal was published on the occasion of the 2022 International Shared Decision Making Conference (https://www.zefq-journal.com/issue/S1865-9217(22)X0005-6), which provides an international overview of patient-centered healthcare and shared decision making in various countries.