Educational programs to teach shared decision making to medical trainees: A systematic review

Naykky Singh Ospina, Freddy J.K. Toloza, Francisco Barrera, Carma L. Bylund, Patricia J. Erwin, Victor Montori

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: Shared decision-making (SDM) is a process of collaboration between patients and clinicians. An increasing number of educational programs to teach SDM have been developed. We aimed to summarize and evaluate the body of evidence assessing the outcomes of these programs. Methods: We conducted a systematic review of studies that aimed to teach SDM to medical trainees. Reviewers worked independently and in duplicate to select studies, extract data and evaluate the risk of bias. Results: Eighteen studies were included. Most studies focused on residents/fellows (61 %) and combined a didactic component with a practical experience (50 % used a standardized patient). Overall, participants reported satisfaction with the courses. The effects on knowledge, attitudes/confidence and comfort with SDM were small; no clear improvement on SDM skills was noted. Evaluation of clinical behavior and outcomes was limited (3/18 studies). Studies had moderate risk of bias. Conclusion: Very low quality evidence suggests that educational programs for teaching SDM to medical trainees are viewed as satisfactory and have a small impact on knowledge and comfort with SDM. Their impact on clinical skills, behaviors and patient outcomes is less clear. Practical implications: Integration of formal and systematic outcomes evaluation (effects on behavior/clinical practice) should be part of future programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1082-1094
Number of pages13
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Medical trainees
  • Patient-centered care
  • Shared decision making

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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