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January 2019

Risk Calculators and Decision Aids Are Not Enough for Shared Decision Making

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, Stanford University, Stanford, California
  • 2Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison
  • 3Department of Surgery, Women’s College Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 4Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison
  • 5Department of Medical History and Bioethics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison
JAMA Surg. 2019;154(1):3-4. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2018.2446

Surgical decision making is not all about risk. Surgeons must weigh anticipated outcomes against expected burdens when contemplating decisions between surgery or no surgery.1 Developing a strategy for managing surgical problems and honoring patient priorities requires this calculation using a process of shared decision making. Although the tools to support surgical decision making have improved over time, the ability of surgeons to engage patients in shared decision making depends on their ability to use these tools correctly.

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