Training health professionals in shared decision-making: An international environmental scan

France Légaré, Mary C. Politi, Renée Drolet, Sophie Desroches, Dawn Stacey, Hilary Bekker

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

144 Scopus citations


Objective: To identify and analyze training programs in shared decision-making (SDM) for health professionals. Methods: We conducted an environmental scan looking for programs that train health professionals in SDM. Pairs of reviewers independently analyzed the programs identified using a standardized data extraction sheet. The developers of the programs validated the data extracted. Results: We identified 54 programs conducted between 1996 and 2011 in 14 countries and 10 languages. Thirty-four programs targeted licensed health professionals, 10 targeted pre-licensure health professionals, and 10 targeted both. Most targeted only the medical profession (n=32); six targeted more than one health profession. The five most frequently mentioned teaching methods were case-based discussion, small group educational session, role play, printed educational material, and audit and feedback. Thirty-six programs reported having evaluated their impacts but evaluation data was available only for 17. Conclusions: Health professional training programs in SDM vary widely in how and what they deliver, and evidence of their effectiveness is sparse. Practice implications: This study suggests there is a need for international consensus on ways to address the variability in SDM training programs. We need agreed criteria for certifying the programs and for determining the most effective types of training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-169
Number of pages11
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Environmental scan
  • Implementation
  • Patient centered care
  • Shared decision making
  • Training


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