10 Scopus citations


Objective We examined clinicians’ attitudes, beliefs, and behavioral intentions about discussing evidence and eliciting values when patients question recommendations. Methods We randomized trainees to read one of three scenarios about a parent of a one-year-old: 1) overuse (parent requests antibiotics for presumed viral infection); 2) equipoise (tubes for recurrent ear infections); 3) underuse (parent hesitates about vaccination). Participants then answered survey questions. Outcomes included time spent clarifying values (primary), attitudes and beliefs about the parent (secondary). Results 132 medical students and pediatric residents enrolled; 119 (90%) completed the study. There were no differences in time participants would spend clarifying values (antibiotics 26 ± 12%; equipoise 28 ± 11%; vaccine-hesitancy 22 ± 11%; p = 0.058). Participants in the vaccine-hesitancy group (vs. other groups) would spend less time answering questions (p = 0.006). Participants in the antibiotics (vs. equipoise) group perceived the parent as difficult (p = 0.0002). Those in the vaccine-hesitancy group (vs. other groups) perceived the parent as difficult, saw less value in the conversation, and had lower respect for the parent's views (all ps < 0.0001). Most (76%) wanted additional training navigating these discussions. Conclusion Clinicians’ attitudes may impact conversations when patients question evidence-based recommendations. Practice implications Clinicians should consider ways to discuss evidence and clarify patients’ values to optimize health without damaging patient-clinician relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1701-1708
Number of pages8
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2017


  • Doctor-patient relationship
  • Evidence-based medicine
  • Health communication


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