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October 1, 2014

The Connection Between Evidence-Based Medicine and Shared Decision Making

Author Affiliations
  • 1Centre for Research in Evidence-Based Practice, Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine, Bond University, Queensland, Australia
  • 2University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
  • 3Knowledge and Evaluation Research (KER) Unit, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
JAMA. 2014;312(13):1295-1296. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.10186

Evidence-based medicine (EBM) and shared decision making (SDM) are both essential to quality health care, yet the interdependence between these 2 approaches is not generally appreciated. Evidence-based medicine should begin and end with the patient: after finding and appraising the evidence and integrating its inferences with their expertise, clinicians attempt a decision that reflects their patient’s values and circumstances. Incorporating patient values, preferences, and circumstances is probably the most difficult and poorly mapped step—yet it receives the least attention.1 This has led to a common criticism that EBM ignores patients’ values and preferences—explicitly not its intention.2

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