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May 14, 2014

Rethinking the Information Priorities of Patients

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Family Medicine and Population Health, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond
  • 2Department of Family Medicine and Population Health, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond
JAMA. 2014;311(18):1857-1858. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.3038

There is growing interest in offering patients better information to guide their health care decisions, from choosing a clinician or hospital to deciding which surgical procedure to consider.1 The availability and use of such information may be a powerful vehicle to help consumers understand their options and make informed decisions about their care.2 This movement is motivated in part by a commitment to patient engagement and activation and the importance of shared decision making for preference-sensitive decisions. For 2 decades, this movement has held that patients benefit from evidence-based materials that provide the key facts they need to make more informed choices about which options are best for them and that help them to balance the pros, cons, and scientific uncertainties surrounding available options.3 Comparative effectiveness research is thought to provide useful data to help patients weigh their options.4

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